Molecular Partners AG, a Zurich, Switzerland-based developer of protein therapeutics, has announced the closing of its CHF 46 million (€30m, $45m) Series B equity investment round.
The round was led by new investor Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, a venture capital and growth equity firm in the healthcare industry, with participation from all existing investors including Index Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, BB Biotech Ventures and Endeavour.
This financing increases the total amount Molecular Partners has raised since 2007 to CHF64.5m.
The funds will enable the company to advance its pharmaceutical composition to treat cancer (MP0112, a Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor “VEGF” antagonist), into clinical proof of concept studies in two indications in ophthalmology, as well as support the development of Molecular Partners’ broad proprietary pipeline of preclinical Designed ankyrin repeat protein (DARPin) candidates, a promising class of non-immunoglobulin proteins that can offer advantages over antibodies for target binding in drug discovery and drug development. DARPins have been successfully used, for example, for the inhibition of kinases, proteases and drug-exporting membrane proteins.
In conjunction with the financing, Dr. Petri Vainio, Managing Director at Essex Woodlands, will join the company’s board of directors.