Zurich‐Schlieren, September 23, 2014. Molecular Partners AG announced today its plans to list its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange in the fourth quarter of 2014. The initial public offering (IPO) will enable the company to continue to advance and expand its proprietary pipeline and technology platform.
Molecular Partners is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company based in Switzerland that focuses on the discovery and development of a pioneering class of protein therapies called DARPinsTM.
The company’s purpose is to discover and develop multi‐benefit therapies to treat pa‐ tients with severe or life‐threatening diseases, with a focus on diseases of the eye (oph‐ thalmology) and cancer (oncology). Its most advanced product candidate, abicipar pegol (Abicipar), is partnered with Allergan, Inc. (Allergan) and is being developed for the treat‐ ment of wet age‐related macular degeneration (or wet‐AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the developed world. Abicipar is also being developed for diabetic macular edema (or DME), a leading cause of blindness in the working‐age populations in the developed world. Allergan expects to initiate a Phase III clinical trial for Abicipar in wet‐AMD in the second quarter of 2015. Other activities in the area of ophthalmology include development of a preclinical stage multi‐benefit DARPin™ partnered with Allergan that is designed to inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor A (or VEGF) and platelet derived growth factor (or PDGF), two key pathways involved in wet AMD.
In oncology, Molecular Partners’ most advanced proprietary product candidate is MP0250, a multi‐benefit DARPin™ that targets VEGF and hepatocyte growth factor (or HGF), two key pathways involved in tumor growth. MP0250 is currently in Phase I clinical development for the treatment of a variety of solid tumors. In addition, the company is developing MP0274, a proprietary product candidate in early preclinical development that is designed to bind to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (or HER2), a receptor protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells. MP0274 is being developed as a poten‐ tially more potent alternative to enhance efficacy versus currently marketed HER2‐ targeted therapies.
Molecular Partners has an experienced board and management team including key founders. It is backed by leading venture capital investors Essex Woodlands Health Ven‐ tures, Index Ventures and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, BB Biotech Ven‐ tures and Endeavour Vision. To broaden the reach of the DARPin™ platform, Molecular Partners has forged powerful partnerships with blue chip pharmaceutical companies, such as Allergan and F. Hoffmann‐La Roche Ltd (Roche) through which it is able to access the significant expertise and know‐how of its partners. To date, Molecular Partners has raised approximately CHF56 million of venture capital and collected approximately CHF161 mil‐ lion of non‐equity funding from its blue chip partners.
Just yesterday, Molecular Partners was named by FierceBiotech as one of 2014’s Fierce 15 biotechnology companies, designating it as one of the most promising private biotechnol‐ ogy companies in the industry. The internationally recognized daily industry report evalu‐ ates hundreds of private biotechnology companies from around the world for its annual Fierce 15 list, which is based on a variety of factors such as the strength of its technology, partnerships, venture backers and competitive market position.
Molecular Partners intends to complete the IPO in the fourth quarter of 2014. The pro‐ ceeds of the primary offering of approximately CHF 125 million (pre‐overallotment option) will be used to fund the continued development of proprietary DARPin™ product candi‐ dates, and for investments in R&D activities and capabilities, the financing of in‐licensing or acquisition of complementary businesses and technologies and general corporate pur‐ poses.
Christian Zahnd, CEO of Molecular Partners, comments: “Together with my founding partners, we started the business ten years ago. Since then we have successfully developed Molecular Partners as a pioneer in the development of multi-benefit therapies with the vision to transform the lives of patients. Today, Molecular Partners is developing an exciting and rich pipeline of four DARPin™ product candidates and several research programs targeting high value indications. Our work focuses on significantly improving the lives of patients in need and to create longâ€term value to our shareholders. I am enthusiastic about the prospects of continuing to build a sustainable biopharmaceutical company and the future growth which will be supported by the planned IPO.”
J.P. Morgan is acting as the Sole Global Coordinator and Joint Bookrunner and UBS Investment Bank is acting as Joint Bookrunner. Cowen and Company and Bank am Bellevue are acting as Coâ€Managers in connection with the IPO.