Molecular Partners announced today that the company has signed a collaboration agreement with Roche covering the DRP technology for a variety of undisclosed applications. Under this agreement, Molecular Partners will select DARPins to a variety of different targets provided by Roche and Roche will carry out further analyses and development. The targets and further financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
DARPins constitute a novel class of binding proteins based on Molecular Partners’ proprietary designed repeat protein (DRP) technology. Due to their small size and outstanding affinity, selectivity and stability profiles as well as their very favorable production properties in bacteria, DARPins are one of the most promising non-antibody scaffolds for in vitro and in vivo applications
Dr. Christian Zahnd, Chief Executive Officer of Molecular Partners commented: “We are very happy to announce this collaboration with Roche. The application spectrum of the DRP technology is manifold. Roche is the perfect partner for Molecular Partners, able to appreciate and to give value to the technology on a broad level”.
Dr. Michael Stumpp, Chief Scientific Officer of Molecular Partners added: “This collaboration with Roche is another strong sign for the promising potential of Molecular Partners’ technology and confirms our efforts to remain a leader in the field of antibody substitutes.”
DARPins: Targeted Protein Therapeutics Beyond Antibodies
DARPins form a novel and unique class of protein therapeutics. They combine many of the desired properties of antibody therapeutics with many of the beneficial characteristics of small molecules. DARPins have the following attributes:
- High potency
- High robustness
- Allow for fast generation of multi-specific DARPins
- High specificity/Low toxicity
- Better tissue penetration than antibody therapeutics
This new class of molecules opens the door for transforming new drug formats.
Molecular Partners has established a robust platform to discover and develop DARPin-based product candidates targeting indications in ophthalmology, oncology and immunology. The most advanced DARPin product candidate, called abicipar pegol, is out-licensed to Allergan and is expected to enter Phase III clinical studies for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration in the second quarter of 2015 and is currently in Phase II clinical development for the treatment of diabetic macular edema. The other DARPin product candidates in the pipeline are currently being developed by Molecular Partners either on its own or together with renowned pharmaceutical companies through strategic partnerships.
Molecular Partners has the exclusive license to develop DARPin-based product candidates. The vision of Molecular Partners is to pioneer the development of DARPins to create multi-benefit therapeutics transforming the lives of patients.
Molecular Partners and Cambridge Antibody Technology sign crosslicence agreement in the fields of repeat protein technology and ribosome display.
Expanded opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic products
Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and Molecular Partners today announce that they have signed a crosslicence agreement, under which both parties obtain substantial freedom to conduct research under certain of each others’ intellectual property, as well as the right to develop therapeutic, prophylactic and diagnostic products. CAT obtains access to Molecular Partners proprietary Designed Repeat Proteins (DRPs) technology and Molecular Partners gains rights to intellectual property in ribosome display, controlled by CAT, in the field of novel protein products.
Under the terms of the agreement, Molecular Partners obtains the right to use CAT’s intellectual property in Ribosome Display to develop an unlimited number of Designed Repeat Protein products for biotechnological tests and reagents, diagnostic tests and reagents and therapeutics in all fields. In addition Molecular Partners receives the right to sublicense Ribosome Display with the DRP technology to third parties.
CAT obtains the right under the Molecular Partners’ patents to develop and commercialise products using Molecular Partners’ DRP technology, including the right to sublicense these products to collaboration partners.
Dr Patrick Amstutz, Executive Director at Molecular Partners, commented, “We are very pleased to establish this cross-licence agreement with CAT, enabling Molecular Partners to select DARPins with Ribosome Display to any given target and for every possible application. This Freedom to Operate makes Molecular Partners a highly attractive partner for all companies interested in novel binding proteins for therapeutic or diagnostic applications”.
Alex Duncan, CAT’s Senior Vice President Discovery, commented, “We view this crosslicence agreement with Molecular Partners as an important addition to our continuing commitment to increasing the range of technologies that CAT can apply to the development and commercialisation of biologics. By working with companies like Molecular Partners we aim to strengthen our leadership position in this field. CAT not only obtains access to novel protein technologies, but also benefits from the exchange of intellectual property and the ability to work more closely with a new company in this exciting area”.
On February 16th 2005, Molecular Partners AG has been awarded the Swiss Technology Award 2005 for their designed repeat protein (DRP) technology. Over fifty teams coming from diverse technological fields such as mechanical engineering, material sciences, information sciences and biotechnology competed for this prestigious award. At the Swiss Technology Award gala in Bern (Switzerland), Molecular Partners AG was announced to be the Swiss Technology Award winner of the year 2005. This renowned award is a strong acknowledgment for the research that has been conducted on the DRP technology over the past six years by employees of Molecular Partners AG in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Zürich. The jury recognized the technological breakthrough of the DRP technology in the development of novel binding molecules as alternatives to antibodies and its huge market potential in the fields of diagnostic and therapy.