Molecular Partners AG, the global leader in the development of DARPins as unique next generation protein therapeutics, announced today that it has enrolled the first cohorts of patients in two separate Phase I trials in wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
The trials are investigating the safety and tolerability of a single intravitreal injection of MP0112, a DARPin which inhibits all relevant forms of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) with high potency. The studies will also allow a preliminary assessment of efficacy and the duration of action of MP0112.
MP0112 was engineered to have a long ocular half-life but fast systemic clearance. Thus, it has the potential to become the best-in-class inhibitor of neovascular diseases of the eye and to reduce the number of intravitreal injections needed as compared to current approved standard of care.
Dr. Michael Stumpp, CSO commented: “The need for frequent intravitreal injections is the main limitation of current approved standard of care for wet AMD. We have optimized MP0112 to reduce ocular injections to ease the burden on both patients and physician practices. We are excited to see the first ever DARPin entering clinical development. This is an important step for the development of DARPin-based therapies, and through our internal pipeline we expect to see more DARPins entering the clinic for areas of unmet clinical need.”
Dr. Christian Zahnd, CEO added: “We are delighted to start clinical development of MP0112 just 2.5 years after the initiation of the program. This is a great showcase for the capabilities of the DARPin platform and further validates its potential to fill pipelines with differentiated products.”