Uniting therapeutic innovation
with global capabilities
We are called Molecular Partners for a reason. We believe strong external collaborations are an essential component to realize the full potential of DARPin therapeutics for patients. We aim to collaborate with partners that share our drive and commitment to speed the discovery and development of breakthrough therapies for patients.
Our partnerships are tailored to the DARPin therapeutic and MoA in question, the medical problem and indication, as well as MP’s and the partner’s needs and objectives. We strive for fast and nimble decision-making during the process from idea generation through to partnership execution.
To date, Molecular Partners has received combined upfront and milestone payments of approximately CHF 450 million in connection with agreements with our partners.
In January 2024, we entered into a co-development agreement with Orano Med, a pioneer in targeted alpha therapy, to develop novel Radio-DARPin Therapies (RDTs) that use Orano Med’s 212Pb radioisotope as a payload to selectively kill cancer cells. Both companies will leverage their unique capabilities to enable rapid clinical development and agree to share costs and profits for preclinical and clinical development for multiple oncology targets, the first of which is DLL3.
This agreement represents the first co-development deal for Molecular Partners and Orano Med. Both companies are developing additional radioligand therapy candidates in partnership with other companies, with Molecular Partners having announced its first RDT collaboration with Novartis in December 2021.
In December 2021, we entered into a research and collaboration agreement with Novartis to develop, manufacture and commercialize Radio-DARPin Therapies (RDTs). The collaboration combines Molecular Partners’ industry-leading ability to rapidly generate high-affinity DARPins and the radioligand capabilities and expertise of Novartis.
Under the agreement, both parties collaborate on the discovery and optimization of the therapeutic candidates. Novartis will be responsible for all clinical development and commercialization activities. Novartis paid $20 million upfront to Molecular Partners, with total potential development, regulatory and commercialization milestone payments of up to $560 million, and up to low double-digit percent of royalties.
Our continued expansion of our capabilities and those of our DARPin candidates is due in part to our deep clinical experience with DARPin programs, across development stages through to the registrational phase. For example, our work today is informed by the development of abicipar, for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME); and of ensovibep, our trispecific candidate for COVID-19. Learn more about these partnerships below.
In October 2020, we entered into a collaboration with Novartis to develop, manufacture and commercialize our DARPin candidates for COVID-19, resulting in a trispecific candidate named ensovibep. Following the positive results of the Phase 2 global EMPATHY clinical study, Novartis exercised its option to in-license ensovibep in January 2022 and Molecular Partners received a milestone payment of CHF 150 million.
As the circumstances of the pandemic evolved, an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for ensovibep was withdrawn effective in January 2023. Novartis returned the rights to the ensovibep program to Molecular Partners in January 2024. Clinical work on the ensovibep program ended in 2022.
The program provided an important clinical validation of DARPins’ application in virology. Examining opportunities in virology remains part of our portfolio strategy based on the data supporting the potential of antiviral DARPins generated in global clinical trials of ensovibep.
AbbVie and Molecular Partners established a discovery alliance focused on ophthalmology through AbbVie’s subsidiary, Allergan, the initial collaborator beginning in 2011. The key candidate of the collaboration was abicipar, which was developed through to the registrational phase for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). The program provided important clinical, drug design and manufacturing learnings that have informed subsequent portfolio development. The program is no longer in active clinical development and the discovery alliance is now terminated.