MP secures CHF 46 million in a Series B financing

MP secures CHF 46 million in a Series B financing

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.

MP reaches all research milestones in collaboration

Molecular Partners AG, pioneer in the development of DARPins, a novel class of therapeutic proteins, announced today that it has reached all milestones of the research phase earlier than anticipated in its ongoing collaboration with Centocor Research & Development, Inc. High potency DARPin antagonists to multiple targets were successfully selected and characterized by Molecular Partners and Centocor Inc.

In January 2008, Molecular Partners announced an agreement with Centocor, Inc. to develop innovative therapies for the treatment of various diseases with Molecular Partners being responsible for the identification of DARPins.

“We are very pleased with the rapid progress of this collaboration”, commented Christian Zahnd, CEO of Molecular Partners. “This is a significant step forward in our strategy to strengthen our proprietary pipeline with selected partnered compounds.”

Upon entering into the alliance, Molecular Partners had received an upfront payment. The company is also eligible for additional research funding and milestone payments. In addition, Molecular Partners is entitled to receive royalties on future sales of any product from this collaboration.

“The ability to rapidly deliver lead DARPins to Centocor targets with high potency is an excellent showcase of the robustness and power of the DARPin platform,” added Patrick Amstutz, CBO of Molecular Partners.

MP collaborates with Centocor Research & Development Inc.

Molecular Partners AG today announced a collaborative research and license agreement with Centocor Research & Development, Inc. The collaboration will focus on the development of DARPins (Designed Ankyrin Repeat Proteins), a novel class of therapeutic proteins to treat inflammatory diseases. Under the collaboration, Molecular Partners will apply its proprietary DARPin technology for the identification of DARPins to two undisclosed targets. Centocor will perform the preclinical and clinical development as well as commercialization of resulting products.

Molecular Partners will receive an upfront payment of $5 million, additional research funding and license fees. Further, Molecular Partners will receive FTE payments for research done under the agreement. Centocor will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize products discovered during the research term in exchange for future milestones. In addition, Molecular Partners is entitled to receive royalty payments on net sales of any product from this collaboration. The milestone and royalty payments compare to those of recent agreements in the field. Further details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

“This collaboration with Centocor is an important step to position our DARPin technology as a potential source of innovative drugs”, commented Christian Zahnd, CEO of Molecular Partners. “It also shows the continued execution of our corporate strategy which comprises building a broad portfolio of DARPin-based drugs, from external partnerships as well as from our own internal pipeline.”

“Centocor is a leader in the field of antibody therapeutics and has impressive biopharmaceutical capabilities,” added Patrick Amstutz, CBO of Molecular Partners, “Partners like Centocor will help us maximize the therapeutic potential of DARPins. We are delighted that Centocor has chosen DARPins as an addition to their biopharmaceutical pipeline. The dimension of this deal opens new possibilities for Molecular Partners and positions our company as highly attractive partner for the development of protein therapeutics.”

Molecular Partners Appoints Jörn Aldag as Chairman of the Board

Molecular Partners AG, a pioneer in the development of a novel class of therapeutic proteins termed DARPins, has announced the appointment of Jörn Aldag as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Jörn Aldag is President and CEO of Evotec. After the successful IPO in 1999, he was instrumental in growing Evotec from a small technology provider to one of the leading drug discovery and development companies with a promising CNS pipeline in Europe.

Dr. Christian Zahnd, CEO of Molecular Partners welcomed Jörn Aldag to the board: “Jörn brings the experience, strategic vision and dedication to help advance Molecular Partners and build on the full potential of the Company’s DARPin technology. His experience in developing pharmaceutical businesses will be key as we further grow Molecular Partners.”

Commenting on his appointment, Jörn Aldag added: “Molecular Partners’ novel class of therapeutic compounds shows great potential in providing new therapies for unmet clinical needs. This is an exciting time for Molecular Partners and I am delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to the expansion of the Company and to become part of this dedicated team.”

Prior to Evotec, Jörn Aldag was Vice President and Finance Director of MAN Gutehoffnungshütte AG, a subsidiary of MAN AG, Munich and Business Director of Treuhandanstalt, the privatization agency for East German businesses after the reunification. Jörn Aldag is currently a Member of the Monopoly Commission of the Federal Republic of Germany. Jörn Aldag holds business degrees from the Harvard Business School and the European Business School.

MP secures CHF 18.5 million in Series A Financing

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.

MP appoints Andreas Emmenegger as Chief Financial Officer

Molecular Partners announced today the appointment of Andreas Emmenegger as Chief Financial Officer and member of the company’s Executive Management Committee.

In his most recent position, Andreas Emmenegger (Switzerland) was Head of Strategic Alliance Finance (Genentech) of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. In this function, he was mainly in charge of the financial matters in R&D regarding the strategic alliance of Roche and Genentech Inc, San Francisco. Prior to that, he was Chief Financial Officer of GLYCART biotechnology, where he contributed to the successful CHF 235 million company trade sale to the F. Hoffmann-La Roche Group in July 2005. A. Emmenegger has more than 10 years of experience as CFO of several public and private multinational companies, for one of which he performed an IPO raising CHF 120 million. He also has extensive experience with capital markets as well as in M&A and start up fund raising. He holds an Executive MBA degree from IESE Business School, Barcelona.

“We are delighted that Andreas Emmenegger joined our company”, said Christian Zahnd, PhD, CEO of Molecular Partners. “His achievements as well as expertise in financial management of private and listed companies will make a significant contribution to the financial and strategic development of our company. His track record in a biotech start-up as well as in big pharma combined with his entrepreneurial personality is a perfect match with our needs in this dynamic and crucial stage of our corporate development”.

MP and Roche start collaboration on the DRP Technology

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.”

MP and Schering collaborate in oncology

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.

MP gains access to ribosome display

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”.

Swiss Technology Award 2005

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.