THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland, Dec. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and Molecular Partners AG(SIX: MOLN), a clinical-stage biotech company pioneering the use of DARPin®therapeutics, today announced a collaboration and license agreement for the clinical development and commercialization of MP0310 (FAP x 4-1BB). MP0310 is a preclinical molecule designed to locally activate immune cells in the tumor by binding to FAP on tumor stromal cells (localizer) and co-stimulating T cells via 4-1BB (immune modulator).
Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen obtains exclusive global development and commercial rights for MP0310. The parties will jointly evaluate MP0310 in combination with Amgen’s oncology pipeline products, including its investigational BiTE® (bispecific T cell engager) molecules.Under the collaboration, Molecular Partners retains certain rights to develop and commercialize its proprietary DARPin® pipeline products in combination with MP0310.
Molecular Partners will receive an upfront payment of $50 million and is eligible to receive up to $497 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as double-digit, tiered royalties up to the high teens. The parties will share the clinical development costs in defined percentages for the first three indications subject to certain conditions. For all additional clinical trials, Amgen is responsible for all development costs.
“MP0310 is the first candidate out of our portfolio of localized and multi-specific immune-cell agonists. This collaboration with Amgen will allow us to test multiple combinations of MP0310 with other agents,leveraging the potential of MP0310. We anticipate MP0310 to enter the clinic in 2019,” said Dr. Patrick Amstutz, chief executive officer of Molecular Partners. “The partnership with Amgen underlines the potential of MP0310 and the DARPin® platform to deliver novel therapeutic designs.”
“The field of immuno-oncology continues to rapidly evolve, and it’s our belief that combination treatments will have a major role to play in the future of cancer care,” said David M. Reese, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. “We look forward to collaborating with Molecular Partners to combine MP0310 with certain oncology assets, including BiTE® molecules, to deliver improved outcomes for patients.”
About DARPin® Therapeutics
DARPin® therapeutics are a new class of protein therapeutics opening an extra dimension of multi-specificity and multi-functionality. DARPin® candidates contain multiple designed ankyrin repeat binding domains and can engage more than five targets, offering potential benefits over 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 high production yields. 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®therapeutics. 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 oncology and immuno-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: www.molecularpartners.com.
About BiTE® Technology
Bispecific T cell engager (BiTE®) antibody construct is an innovative technology that can be engineered to target any tumor antigen expressed by any type of cancer. The protein molecules are designed to kill malignant cells using the patient’s own immune system by bridging T cells to tumor cells. BiTE® antibody construct helps connect the T cells to the targeted cell, with the intent of causing T cells to inject toxins which trigger cancer cell death (apoptosis). Amgen is developing BiTE® antibody constructs to uniquely (or specifically) target numerous hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.
About Amgen’s Commitment to Oncology
Amgen is committed to helping patients take on some of the toughest cancers, such as those that have been resistant to drugs, those that progress rapidly through the body and those where limited treatment options exist. Amgen’s supportive care treatments help patients combat certain side effects of strong chemotherapy, and our targeted medicines and immunotherapies focus on more than a dozen different malignancies, ranging from blood cancers to solid tumors. With decades of experience providing therapies for cancer patients, Amgen continues to grow its portfolio of innovative and biosimilar oncology medicines.
For more information, follow us on www.twitter.com/amgenoncology.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing,manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people’s lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies,has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.