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Molecular Partners AG Secures CHF 46 million in Series B Financing Led by Essex Woodlands Health Ventures


12/15/2009 7:07:32 AM

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ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Molecular Partners AG, a pioneer in the development of DARPins as next generation protein therapeutics, has announced the closing of its Series B equity investment round securing CHF 46 million (€ 30 million, $ 45 million).

The round was led by new investor Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, a leading venture capital and growth equity firm in the healthcare industry. All existing investors also participated in the round, including Index Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, BB Biotech Ventures and Endeavour. This increases the total amount raised by Molecular Partners to CHF 64.5 million since 2007.

The new funds will enable Molecular Partners not only to advance its lead compound MP0112, a best-in-class VEGF antagonist, into clinical proof of concept studies in two indications in ophthalmology, but will also support the development of Molecular Partners’ broad proprietary pipeline of preclinical DARPin candidates. As novel biologics, DARPins combine the advantages of monoclonal antibodies with many of the properties of small molecules. Molecular Partners is collaborating with Centocor Research & Development, Inc. in the development of DARPins for two undisclosed targets.

The investment will see Dr. Petri Vainio, Managing Director at Essex Woodlands, join the board of directors at Molecular Partners.

Dr. Christian Zahnd, CEO commented: “We see this funding as a very strong validation of our company, the lead compound, and the DARPin platform. It will allow us to take our lead program through early clinical development, as well as to progress our pre-clinical pipeline towards the clinic. I am very happy to strengthen our investor base so significantly with Essex Woodlands. Also, I am grateful for the continuous support from our existing investors”.

Dr. Petri Vainio from Essex Woodlands added: ”Molecular Partners is one of those rare companies that owns a technology platform that is broad and powerful enough to generate numerous successful pharmaceutical products. We are all pleased and honoured to have the opportunity to back Christian and his team as they pursue their exciting vision for this company.”

Jörn Aldag, chairman of the board commented: “The quality of the investors serves to highlight the quality of the science, the products and the entire team at Molecular Partners. I would also like to welcome Petri Vainio to the board. His experience and knowledge will be key in ensuring Molecular Partners’ continued success.”

Dr. Francesco de Rubertis, Partner, from Index Ventures, who led the Series A round, commented: “The team at Molecular Partners has done a fantastic job in delivering on all of their aggressively set milestones. This very strong investment round underlines the confidence we have in Molecular Partners to become a leader in the field of next generation protein therapeutics.”

Contact:

For Molecular Partners AG Tony Stephenson Ben Tan Sue Charles Tel: +44 (0) 20 7457 2020 Email: tony.stephenson@collegehill.com

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