Molecular Partners Grants Global Rights Of Covid Treatment Ensovibep To Novartis

Molecular Partners AG (MOLN), a clinical-stage biotech company developing DARPin therapeutics, Tuesday said it has entered into a license agreement with Novartis AG (NVS), under which the Swiss drug major will in-license global rights to ensovibep from Molecular Partners.

Ensovibep is a DARPin antiviral therapeutic candidate to treat COVID-19, which recently reported positive topline data from the Phase 2 EMPATHY clinical study.

The agreement grants global rights of ensovibep to Novartis, who will lead further development and commercialization of the program.

The finalization of the deal results in a milestone payment of 150 million Swiss Francs to Molecular Partners.

Under the license deal, Molecular Partners will be eligible to receive a 22% royalty on sales in commercial countries, having agreed to forgo royalties in lower income countries.

The deal is aligned with Novartis' plans to ensure affordability based on countries' needs and capabilities.

Molecular Partners said it expects to report around 133 million francs cash and cash equivalents as per December 31, 2021.

Upon receipt of the 150 million francs option exercise milestone from Novartis, Molecular Partners now estimates its cash runway to extend well into 2025. This excludes any potential royalty income as well as excluding potential further cash flows to or from R&D partners.

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