Molecular Partners signs DARPin agreement with Janssen Biotech

Swiss firm could receive payments worth US$800m

Molecular Partners has entered into a research collaboration and option agreement with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Biotech, which could be worth up to US$800m for the Swiss biotechnology company.

The collaboration aims to develop Molecular Partners’ DARPin products for the treatment of immunological conditions.

During the research phase, Janssen Biotech has the right to exercise four options exclusively to licence DARPin-based products.

Upon execution of each option, Janssen Biotech will be solely responsible for all clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialisation activities. Molecular Partners has an option to co-develop one product on a global basis.

Molecular Partners will receive upfront fees, licence payments and research funding as part of the agreement, as well as development and sales milestones of up to $200m for each option. The firm will also be entitled to a tiered and up to double-digit royalty on worldwide net sales.

‘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,’ said Christian Zahnd, chief executive of Molecular Partners.

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