Novartis to in-license Molecular Partners’ new COVID-19 drug ensovibep
Category: #headlines |   By Pankaj Singh |   Date: 2022-01-11

Novartis to in-license Molecular Partners’ new COVID-19 drug ensovibep
  • Novartis has confirmed that it will in-license ensovibep from Molecular Partners to expedite its manufacturing and regulatory approvals globally.
  • Molecular Partners will receive a milestone payment of 150 million and a 22% royalty on ensovibep sales in commercial areas after the in-licensing.

Officials from Swiss drugmaker Novartis and Molecular Partners, a clinical-stage biotech firm developing a new class of custom-built protein drugs, reportedly said an experimental drug dubbed ensovibep to treat COVID-19 patients could be on the market in a matter of weeks.

For the uninitiated, ensovibep, a multi-specific Designed Ankyrin Repeat Protein (DARPin), has been engineered to obstruct the receptor-binding domains of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein via powerful and cooperative binding, making it difficult for escape mutants.

Novartis will pay Molecular Partners 150 million Swiss francs (USD 162.92 million) to in-license ensovibep to accelerate its production ramp-up and gain approval for the medicine. The therapeutics firm had previously received a 60-million-franc (approx. USD 65 million) upfront payment, including equity.

The two firms decided after receiving promising top-line findings from a phase-two study for ensovibep (mp0420). The antiviral for coronavirus will now be researched and marketed by Novartis.

A study on acute COVID-19 ambulatory patients equating single intravenous dosages of ensovibep to placebo suggested that the DARPin antiviral therapeutic applicant met the endpoint of viral load reduction over eight days, the two businesses stated in a statement.

According to the partners, the two secondary endpoints also revealed a clinically relevant advantage compared to a placebo.

As per Molecular Partners' website, DARPins provide a unique method for treating coronavirus by utilizing a single molecule that can engross as many as three segments of the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the same time, neutralizing the virus through several processes.

Novartis will first seek permission from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with which it is applying for a EUA (Emergency Use Authorization).

Source Credit-

https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/novartis-license-covid19-treatment-ensovibep-molecular-partners

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