Zurich-Schlieren, March 29, 2019. Molecular Partners AG (SIX: MOLN), a clinical-stage biotech company pioneering the use of DARPin® therapeutics* to treat serious diseases, today announced that the company will present new pre-clinical data highlighting the company’s immuno-oncology and DARPin® directed drug delivery (DDC) platforms at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) in Atlanta.
Using Molecular Partners’ novel and modular immuno-oncology toolbox, the company has designed a targeted approach to activate CD40 selectively in the tumor microenvironment. This approach is based on a multi-specific DARPin® molecule that incorporates a DARPin® directed to fibroblast activation protein (FAP) to localize an agonistic CD40 DARPin selectively in solid tumors with the goal of increase efficacy while reducing systemic toxicity. Preclinical data demonstrated that the company’s multi-specific FAP x CD40 DARPin® molecule induced FAP-dependent activation of B cells, dendritic cells and macrophages.
The versatility of DARPin® molecules also makes them an attractive alternative to antibodies for the development of drug conjugates. Molecular Partners has developed DARPin® drug conjugates (DDCs) in collaboration with ImmunoGen, Inc., (Nasdaq: IMGN), using a model EGFR multi-specific DARPin® molecule. The DDCs displayed antigen-specific activity across a panel of cell lines expressing EGFR. DARPin® drug conjugates combine the selectivity and potency observed with antibody drug conjugates and the novel modular design of DARPin® molecules to create specifically designed therapeutics.
“We are very pleased with our advancing pipeline of DARPin® based therapeutics which includes both DDCs and immuno-oncology agents. The data presented at AACR showcase the innovative power of the DARPin® platform in the multi-specific biologics space,” commented Pamela A. Trail, Chief Scientific Officer of Molecular Partners.
The data will be presented at the following AACR 2019 sessions under the respective titles:
CD40: Tuesday, 2 April 2019, 8.00 am, section 25: 3251 / 1 – “Fibroblast activation protein (FAP)-selective delivery of CD40 agonistic DARPin® molecule for tumor-localized immune activation” (Rigamonti et al.)
DDC: Sunday, 31 March 2019, 1.00 pm, section 9: 215 / 6 – “Generation of site-specific DARPin® drug conjugates using EGFR as a model system” (Laviolette et al.)
Full details on the Molecular Partners’ sessions at AACR 2019 as well as all presentations can be found on the conference page. Following their presentation at the AACR, the posters will also be available on the corresponding section of the Molecular Partnerswebsite.
- April 16, 2019 – Annual General Meeting
- May 9, 2019 – Interim Management Statement Q1 2019
- August 27, 2019 – Publication of Half-year Results 2019 (unaudited)
- October 31, 2019 – Interim Management Statement Q3 2019
About the DARPin® Difference
DARPin® therapeutics are a new class of protein therapeutics opening an extra dimension of multi-specificity and multi-functionality. DARPin® candidates are potent, specific, safe and very versatile. They can engage more than 5 targets at once, offering potential benefits over those offered by conventional monoclonal antibodies or other currently available protein therapeutics. The DARPin® technology is a fast and cost-effective drug discovery engine, producing drug candidates with ideal properties for development and very high production yields.
With their good safety profile, low immunogenicity and long half-life in the bloodstream and the eye, DARPin® therapeutics have the potential to advance modern medicine and significantly improve the treatment of serious diseases, including cancer and sight-threatening disorders. Molecular Partners is partnering with Allergan to advance clinical programs in ophthalmology, and is advancing a proprietary pipeline of DARPin® drug candidates in oncology and immuno-oncology. The most advanced global product candidate is abicipar, a molecule currently in phase 3, in partnership with Allergan. Several DARPin® molecules for various ophthalmic indications are also in development. The most advanced DARPin® therapeutic candidate wholly owned by Molecular Partners, MP0250, is in phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of solid tumors and hematological tumors. MP0274, the second-most advanced DARPin® drug candidate owned by Molecular Partners, has broad anti-HER activity; it inhibits HER1, HER2 and HER3-mediated downstream signaling via Her2, leading to induction of apoptosis. MP0274 is currently in phase 1. The company’s lead immuno-oncology product candidate MP0310 is a FAP x 4-1BB multi-DARPin® therapeutic candidate designed to locally activate immune cells in the tumor by binding to FAP on tumor stromal cells (localizer) and co-stimulating T cells via 4-1BB (immune modulator). Molecular Partners has closed a collaboration agreement with Amgen for the exclusive clinical development and commercialization of MP0310. MP0310 is expected to enter into the clinic in H2 2019. Molecular Partners is also advancing a growing preclinical and research pipeline in immuno-oncology that features its ‘I/O toolbox’ and additional development programs. DARPin® is a registered trademark owned by Molecular Partners AG.
About Molecular Partners AG
Molecular Partners AG is a clinical-stage biotech company that is developing a new class of therapies known as DARPin®therapeutics. The company continues to attract talented individuals who share the passion to develop breakthrough medicines for serious diseases. Molecular Partners has compounds in various stages of clinical and preclinical development and several more in the research stage, with a current focus on oncology and immuno-oncology. The company establishes research and development partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies and is backed by established biotech investors.
For more information regarding Molecular Partners AG, go to: www.molecularpartners.com.
For further details, please contact:
Dr. Patrick Amstutz, CEO
Tel: +41 44 755 77 00
Dr. Thomas Schneckenburger, IR & Media
Tel: +41 44 755 5728
Susan A. Noonan, IR USA
Tel: +1 212 966 3650
Lisa Raffensperger, International Media
Tel: +1 617 903 8783
*DARPin® is a registered trademark owned by Molecular Partners AG
This communication does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for or purchase any securities of Molecular Partners AG. This publication may contain certain forward-looking statements and assessments or intentions concerning the company and its business. Such statements involve certain risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such statements. Readers should therefore not place reliance on these statements, particularly not in connection with any contract or investment decision. The company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, assessments or intentions.