Zurich, Switzerland, May 14, 2009 -- 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.
For more information, please visit www.molecularpartners.com
About Molecular Partners:
Molecular Partners is a privately held biotech company focusing on the commercialization of a novel class of biological drugs known as DARPins. Molecular Partners applies this novel class of protein therapeutics to create medicines for diseases with unmet medical need or to dramatically improve existing therapies.
DARPins combine the high specificity, selectivity and safety of monoclonal antibodies with many advantages of small molecules, including high stability and low-cost production. In addition, the versatile DARPin platform enables many new drug formats, allowing transforming therapeutic approaches for optimal patient benefit.
Molecular Partners has established a strong DARPin pipeline which is well differentiated from standard therapeutic approaches. The lead DARPin product, MP0112, a best-in-class VEGF antagonist, is being developed for ophthalmology and oncology and is scheduled to enter clinical testing later this year. In ophthalmology, MP0112 brings substantial patient benefit compared to competing products, as it allows for significantly less frequent injections. Next to MP0112, Molecular Partners is building a broad pipeline of DARPin drugs in inflammation, oncology and other disease areas.
In addition to the internal pipeline, Molecular Partners has established several collaborations with renowned pharmaceutical companies. Molecular Partners is backed by a strong syndicate of investors and holds the exclusive patent rights for full freedom to operate with DARPins for all applications.