Molecular Partners enters into a Strategic Research Collaboration and Option Agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. in Immunology to Develop Multispecific DARPins®

Dec 08 2011

ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland—Molecular Partners AG today announced that it has entered into a strategic research collaboration and option agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. to research, discover and develop DARPin® products for the treatment of immunological diseases. The
collaboration and expansion of its current agreement with the company and its affiliates aims to explore a defined set of targets, including the use of multispecific DARPins®, to address diseases where continued unmet needs for effective treatment options continue to exist.

Under the agreement, Molecular Partners and Janssen Biotech will collaborate on research of DARPins to selected targets. During the research phase, Janssen Biotech has the right to exercise four options to exclusively license DARPin®-based products. Upon execution of each option, Janssen Biotech will be solely responsible for all clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization activities.  Molecular Partners has an option to co-develop one product on a global basis.  Molecular Partners will receive significant upfront fees, license payments and research funding as part of an innovative agreement, as well as development and sales milestones of up to $200 million for each option. Upon commercialization, Molecular Partners will be entitled to a tiered and up to double-digit royalty on worldwide net sales.

“We are thrilled about entering into this broader alliance with Janssen Biotech as an expansion of our current agreement, which is a significant effort to build and expand our internal and external immunology pipeline. We see the enabling power of the DARPin® platform as a compound engine for us and our partners to generate pioneering multi-specific compounds delivering true patient benefit,” said Christian Zahnd, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Molecular Partners. “The strategic value of this deal is the collaborative approach with a multi-disciplinary team of world-class scientists, under which Molecular Partners expands its position of strength as a biopharmaceutical company pioneering innovative protein therapeutics, while retaining rights to develop novel assets not optioned by Janssen Biotech during the research collaboration.”

For further details please contact:

For Molecular Partners:
Media relations Molecular Partners
Nicole Yost, Daniel Gooch
College Hill Life Sciences
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7866 7855 or 7866
[email protected]
[email protected]
Dr. Patrick Amstutz, CBO
Tel: +41 (0) 44 755 77 00
[email protected]

Notes to editors:
About Molecular Partners AG (
Molecular Partners is a privately-owned biotech company focusing on the research, development and commercialization of a novel class of biological drugs known as DARPins®. The company is committed to create medicines for diseases with unmet medical need and 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 and adding the ability of combining multiple specificities.  Molecular Partners has established a strong DARPin® pipeline which is well differentiated from standard therapeutic approaches. Molecular Partners is focusing on DARPin® drugs in inflammation, oncology, ophthalmology and other disease areas. The most advanced DARPin (MP0112) is in phase II clinical development and has been partnered with Allergan. The internal pipeline is expanded by partnered programs with leading pharmaceutical companies. Molecular Partners has established collaborations with Allergan, F. Hoffmann-la Roche, Janssen Biotech and Bayer Schering Pharma. The company is backed by a strong syndicate of investors and holds a strong patent estate covering all DARPin® applications.

About DARPins®
DARPins® are a new generation of target-binding proteins. The DARPin® platform is a dynamic product engine creating new and transforming drugs that are of the highest quality and are developed at unmatched speed and robustness. Each drug candidate can profit from a wide range of benefits, including the highest affinity, stability and solubility, simple and low-cost production, as well as an optimal pharmacokinetic (PK) profile, tailored to the demand of the application, ranging from minutes to weeks. DARPins® can be effortlessly combined into multispecific drug candidates without compromising development characteristics. This rapid and robust generation of multispecific DARPins® allows new approaches in combinatorial profiling of target biology.