Molecular Partners AG (MOLN), a clinical-stage biotech company delivering unique therapies to people with cancer and other serious diseases, has recently announced entering into a license agreement with Novartis AG (NVS), a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical corporation.
Under this agreement, the swiss drug major will in-license universal rights to ensovibep from Molecular Partners.
Ensovibep is a DARPin (designed ankyrin repeat proteins) antiviral therapeutic applicant for treating the novel coronavirus infection, which recently testified positive topline data from the Phase 2 EMPATHY clinical study.
The recent research conducted from the randomized, placebo-controlled EMPATHY Part A study in severe COVID-19 ambulatory patients associating single intravenous dosages of ensovibep, a DARPin antiviral therapeutic candidate vs. placebo resulted in meeting the primary endpoint of a biological load drop in around eight days.
Around 407 patients were selected for the Phase 2 study, and ensovibep was well-tolerated and safe at all doses (75mg, 225mg and 600mg) with 75mg the planned dose for developing further.
The agreement provides global rights of ensovibep to Novartis, who will lead the further expansion and commercialization of the program.
This deal will eventually allow Molecular Partners to acquire a massive payment of 150 million Swiss Francs.
In addition to this, Molecular Partners will receive a 22% of royalty in sales in commercial countries. Notably, the firms have agreed to waive royalties in minor income countries.
The deal is in line with the long-term plan of Novartis for ensuring affordability as per the requirement and capabilities of various countries.
Molecular Partners anticipates reporting approximately 133 million francs cash and cash equivalents as per December last year.
Furthermore, upon receiving 150 million francs option exercise milestone from Novartis, Molecular Partners now believes that it will be able to extend its cash runaway well till 2025. This eliminates any possible sovereigns' income and does not include potential additional cash flows to or from R&D partners.