DARPin Biology

DARPins: Our class of multi-functional protein therapeutics with unique advantages

We have pioneered the class of DARPin therapeutics, which have multiple unique advantages that differentiate them from other protein-based drugs. DARPins can be linked together to a single molecule that performs multiple functions at once, opening up numerous opportunities for treating serious diseases.

By building on these innate characteristics and in-house expertise, Molecular Partners is continually unlocking and expanding the versatility of DARPin therapeutics for patients worldwide.

  • High affinity and specificity

    High potency with lower risk of off-target effects

    High affinity and specificity
  • Multi-specificity

    Can act on up to six distinct targets at once

  • Small size (15 kDa)

    Allows greater tissue penetration

    Small size (15 kDa)
  • Simple high-yield manufacturing

    Highly validated bacterial fermentation simplifies production and scaling

    Simple high-yield manufacturing
  • 1 DARPin = 1 function

    Rapid creation of multi-functional candidates

    1 DARPin = 1 function
  • Long shelf-life and  stability

    Can be stored for years at 4°C, simplifying supply chain management

    Long shelf-life and stability

Manufacturing DARPins: a focus on speed and simplicity

All DARPin therapeutics are constructed to benefit from high-yield manufacturing. The ability to be produced via E.coli-based bacterial fermentation is a major advantage over other protein-based therapeutic approaches. For example, antibody drugs often require manufacturing process optimization and post-translational protein modification, which significantly increases manufacturing time and complexity. In contrast, DARPins are smaller and do not require extensive post-translational modification to enable stability or function. This permits relatively simple, highly scalable bacterial fermentation with clinical batch production every seven to ten days.

Candidate design: rapidly tailoring DARPins to target molecules

Molecular Partners draws on a vast library of trillions of different DARPins to find those that bind best to different targets. DARPins can be rapidly combined in many different ways and the resulting combinations are run through screening processes to again ensure the best performance ‘on target’. Molecular Partners can also add special technical capabilities to any particular therapeutic candidate. These are proprietary, specific combinations of DARPins that give a potentially beneficial therapeutic effect when added to a candidate, such as half-life extension or localized immune activation. Molecular Partners continues to unlock new technical capabilities and expand their use in new candidates.