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Molecular Partners, Janssen to jointly develop DARPins

Janssen Biotech has entered into a strategic research collaboration and option agreement with Molecular Partners, to research, discover and develop Designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) products, a new generation of target-binding proteins for the treatment of immunological diseases.

As part of the deal, Molecular Partners and Janssen Biotech will jointly develop DARPins and examine their use to address diseases where there is unmet needs for effective treatment options.

In the research phase, Janssen will possess the right to exercise four options to exclusively license DARPin-based products and Molecular Partners will co-develop one product on a global basis.

Molecular Partners CEO Christian Zahnd said the deal will allow the company to expand its position of strength as a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative protein therapeutics, while retaining rights to develop novel assets not optioned by Janssen Biotech during the research collaboration.

”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,” Zahnd added.

Under the strategic agreement, Molecular Partners will receive upfront fees, license payments, research funding as well as development and sales milestones of up to $200m for each option.