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Dec 15, 2009

Molecular Partners Raises Almost $45M to Support Phase II Trials in Ophthalmology

  • Germany-based Molecular Partners raised CHF 46 million (about $44.24 million) in a Series B equity investment round. The company aims to use the new funds to progress its lead VEGF antagonist, MP0112, into Phase II studies in two separate ophthalmology indications. The financing will also be used to support development of its preclinical pipeline of DARPin candidates.

    DARPins are a class of therapeutic proteins that combine the high specificity, selectivity, and safety of mAbs with advantages of small molecules, including high-stability and low-cost production, according to Molecular Partners.

    In May the company reported the early achievement of all milestones in the research phase of its collaboration with Centocor. The alliance is focused on developing DARPin antagonists against two undisclosed inflammatory disease targets. Molecular Partners also has ongoing DARPin collaborations with Roche and Bayer Schering Pharma.


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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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