Molecular Partners' Collaboration Partner Allergan Exercises Options for Two DARPin Product Candidates in Ophthalmology

Jan 03 2018

ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland—Molecular Partners AG (ticker: MOLN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of drugs known as DARPin® therapies*, today announced that Allergan has exercised two options to develop and commercialize DARPin® product candidates from its 2012 discovery alliance agreement with Molecular Partners. Upon receipt of approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, Molecular Partners will grant Allergan an exclusive license to the selected DARPin® molecules for use in ophthalmology.

Molecular Partners and Allergan entered into a broad discovery alliance in ophthalmology in 2012 aiming to develop novel multi-DARPin® molecules for diseases with high unmet medical need. This alliance broadened the initial collaboration on abicipar, which is now in phase 3 development in wet AMD.

All amounts payable under these two option exercises are included in the aggregate milestone payments and the tiered royalty payments previously disclosed in our July 21, 2015 press release. Molecular Partners is entitled to certain success based development, regulatory and sales milestone payments aggregating up to USD 640 million, as well as tiered royalty payments (up to low double digit percentage range) on any future product sales. Allergan will be responsible for all future development costs.

“The DARPin® platform is a key part of our strategy to develop highly differentiated drugs in ophthalmology,” said David Nicholson, Chief R&D Officer, Allergan. “Our partnership with Molecular Partners continues to deliver such differentiated drug candidates and by exercising these options we will obtain exclusive rights to develop and commercialize these molecules and expand our efforts to address important diseases in ophthalmology. “

“We are excited to support our long-standing partner Allergan in advancing multi-DARPin® product candidates. This is an important showcase of the value of the DARPin® platform to deliver potential patient benefit in ophthalmology in addition to the work Molecular Partners is doing in oncology. I would like to thank the teams on both sides of the collaboration for their efforts and the achievement of this important milestone,” commented Patrick Amstutz, CEO of Molecular Partners.

About abicipar

Abicipar is a long-acting mono-DARPin® drug candidate that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and is currently under investigation for the treatment of two major causes of blindness worldwide: neovascular, or wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). Abicipar has the potential to require less frequent injections into the eye than the current anti-VEGF standards of care, while providing equal or better improvements in vision, both seen as mayor patient benefits in these indications. Molecular Partners granted an exclusive license to Allergan for Abicipar in May 2011.

About the DARPin® Difference

DARPin® therapeutics are a new class of protein therapeutics opening an extra dimension of multi-specificity and multi-functionality. DARPin® candidates are potent, specific, safe and very versatile. They can engage in more than 5 targets at once, offering potential benefits over those offered by conventional monoclonal antibodies or other currently available protein therapeutics. The DARPin® technology is a fast and cost-effective drug discovery engine, producing drug candidates with ideal properties for development and very high production yields.

With their good safety profile, low immunogenicity and long half-life in the bloodstream and the eye, DARPin® therapies have the potential to advance modern medicine and significantly improve the treatment of serious diseases, including cancer and sight-threatening disorders. Molecular Partners is partnering with Allergan to advance clinical programs in ophthalmology, and is advancing a proprietary pipeline of DARPin® drug candidates in oncology. The most advanced global product candidate is abicipar, a molecule currently in Phase 3, in partnership with Allergan. Several DARPin® molecules for various ophthalmic indications are also in development. The most advanced systemic DARPin® molecule, MP0250, is in Phase 1 clinical development for the treatment of solid tumors and has entered into Phase 2 development for hematological tumors. In addition, Molecular Partners intends to further evaluate MP0250 for solid tumors in a phase 1b/2 trial for EGFR-mutated NSCLC. MP0274, the second-most advanced DARPin® drug candidate in oncology, has broad anti-HER activity; it inhibits HER1, HER2 and HER3-mediated downstream signaling via Her2, leading to induction of apoptosis. MP0274 has just moved into Phase 1. Molecular Partners is also advancing a growing preclinical pipeline that features several immuno-oncological development programs. DARPin® is a registered trademark owned by Molecular Partners AG.

About Molecular Partners AG

Molecular Partners AG is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is developing a new class of therapies known as DARPin® therapies. With a management team that includes many of the founding scientists, the company continues to attract talented individuals who share the passion to develop breakthrough medicines for serious diseases. Molecular Partners has compounds in various stages of clinical and preclinical development and several more in the research stage, with a current focus on ophthalmology and oncology. The company establishes research and development partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies and is backed by established biotech investors.

For more information regarding Molecular Partners AG, go to:

Financial Calendar
February 8, 2018 Publication of Full-year Results 2017 (unaudited)
March 16, 2018 Expected Publication of 2017 Annual Report
April 18, 2018       Annual General Meeting

For further details, please contact:
Patrick Amstutz, CEO
[email protected]
Tel: +41 44 755 77 00

Andreas Emmenegger, CFO
[email protected]
Tel: +41 44 755 77 00

This communication does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for or purchase any securities of Molecular Partners AG. This publication may contain certain forward-looking statements and assessments or intentions concerning the company and its business, including milestone payments and royalties. Such statements involve certain risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such statements. Readers should therefore not place reliance on these statements, particularly not in connection with any contract or investment decision. The company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, assessments or intentions.