Roche and Molecular Partners Enter into Alliance to Develop New Cancer Treatments

  Roche and Molecular Partners Enter into Alliance to Develop New Cancer

 Partnership will combine novel biologics (DARPins) with Roche drug-conjugate

Business Wire

BASEL & ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland -- December 4, 2013

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and Molecular Partners AG today announced
that they have entered into a research collaboration and licensing agreement
to discover, develop and commercialize several proprietary therapeutics
incorporating Molecular Partners’ DARPin^® biologics conjugated to toxic
agents developed at Roche for the treatment of cancer.

DARPin-drug conjugates would be an exciting new class of drugs offering the
potential of enhanced efficacy with substantial patient benefit over existing

DARPins are non-antibody-based small proteins where a variable region has been
engineered for target binding. Their small size and high binding affinity
enable them to hone in on and penetrate deep into solid tumors. DARPins are
thus ideal targeting agents to deliver toxic agents to tumors to kill cancer
cells. As a result of their ability to bind to different epitopes than
antibodies, and by binding to multiple epitopes or targets in parallel at the
same time, DARPins are believed to have a higher selectivity for tumor cells
compared to other biologics including antibody drug conjugates.

“We are excited about this collaboration as the DARPin platform is truly
complementary to our internal capabilities in the large molecule space,” Sylke
Poehling, Head of Large Molecule Research at Roche commented. “In the field of
drug conjugates, we have identified an excellent opportunity to combine our
expertise with the leading company in non-antibody scaffold technology to
develop transformative cancer medicines.”

Christian Zahnd, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Molecular Partners, added,
“Roche is one of the top players in oncology and specifically the toxic
payload field. By combining its technical and commercial expertise with our
DARPin R&D expertise, we can rapidly develop a pipeline of highly
differentiated products offering a novel approach to treating patients far
more quickly than we could do independently, offering new hope for patients
with unmet medical need. The DARPin-drug conjugate is an exciting new product
direction for us alongside our internal proprietary DARPins and our existing
partnerships in ophthalmology and immunology.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche has rights to develop and
commercialize several DARPin-based products. Molecular Partners is entitled to
receive upfront and initiation payments up to CHF 55 million. Furthermore,
Molecular Partners will receive research funding and can earn more than CHF 1
billion if all development and sales milestones are met for all potential
products. In addition Molecular Partners will receive tiered royalties on any
future product sales into the double-digit percentage range.

About Molecular Partners AG

Molecular Partners is a privately-owned biotech company focusing on the
research, development and commercialization of a novel class of biological
drugs known as DARPins. The company is committed to create medicines for
diseases with unmet medical need and to dramatically improve existing
therapies. DARPins combine the high specificity, selectivity and safety of
monoclonal antibodies with many advantages of small molecules, including high
stability and low-cost production.

Molecular Partners has established a strong DARPin pipeline which is well
differentiated from standard therapeutic approaches. Next to ophthalmology,
Molecular Partners is focusing on DARPin drugs in inflammation, oncology and
other disease areas. The internal pipeline is expanded by partnered programs
with leading pharmaceutical companies. Molecular Partners has established
alliances with Allergan and Janssen and other pharmaceutical companies. The
company is backed by a strong syndicate of investors and holds a strong patent
estate covering all DARPin applications. For more information regarding to
Molecular Partners, go to:

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused
healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche
is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in
oncology, infectious diseases, inflammation, metabolism and neuroscience.
Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer
diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised
healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that
enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of
patients. In 2012 Roche had over 82,000 employees worldwide and invested over
8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.5 billion Swiss
francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche
Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For
more information, please visit


Roche Partnering
Emilie Vincent
Head of Roche Partnering Communications
Molecular Partners
Dr. Patrick Amstutz, CBO
Dr. Christian Zahnd, CEO
Tel: +41 (0) 44 755 77 00
College Hill Life Sciences
Melanie Toyne-Sewell
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7457 2029
Robert Mayer
Tel: +49 (0)89 5238 8030
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