Novartis Collaborates with Molecular Partners on Two Anti-COVID-19 Therapies

October 29, 2020
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Novartis and Molecular Partners are collaborating on the development, manufacture, and commercialization of Molecular Partners’ anti-COVID-19 DARPin program.

Novartis and Molecular Partners announced on Oct. 28, 2020 that they have entered into a collaboration for the development, manufacture, and commercialization of Molecular Partners’ anti-COVID-19 DARPin program, which comprises two therapeutic candidates, MP0420 and MP0423.

As per the terms of the agreement, during the option period, Molecular Partners will perform Phase I clinical trials for MP0420, expected to begin in November 2020, and perform all remaining preclinical work for MP0423. Novartis will be charged with conducting the Phase II and Phase III clinical trials, which will be sponsored by Molecular Partners.

Upon option exercise, Novartis will be responsible for all further development and commercialization activities. During the clinical development stage, Molecular Partners will provide clinical supply. Manufacturing capacity scale-up will be a collaborative effort of Novartis and Molecular Partners, along with Sandoz, the generics and biosimilar Novartis division, to provide worldwide supply.

“Novartis remains unwavering in its support for tackling COVID-19 and it is clear that this pandemic calls for not just scientific solutions, but also for collaboration between companies to provide treatments in an area of high unmet need,” said Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis, in the press release. “This Swiss led partnership, which could deliver both prophylactic and treatment options at scale for COVID-19 patients across the globe, is another demonstration of our sustained commitment to addressing one of the greatest health challenges of our time.”

“Our team rapidly mobilized to deliver a unique DARPin-based approach to address the overwhelming need for effective therapeutics against COVID-19. As a class, DARPins have demonstrated over years of clinical research a number of characteristics that enhance their profile as antiviral therapeutics for a global pandemic. We have built on this long-term research with these two candidates, which have demonstrated extremely potent neutralization of the virus through inhibiting multiple viral mechanisms,” added Patrick Amstutz, CEO of Molecular Partners, in the press release.

Source: Novartis