Zurich-Schlieren, Apil 21, 2018. Molecular Partners AG (SIX: MOLN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of drugs known as DARPin® therapies*, announced today that preliminary results from the ongoing Phase 2 study of MP0250 with bortezomib and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) were presented at the 1st European Myeloma Network Meeting in Turin.
The presentation in Turin focused on results from the first dose cohort of MP0250 with respect to safety and efficacy. Eight patients were treated with 8 mg/kg of MP0250 and five out of these eight patients showed a documented response: Four patients reached a partial response (PR) and one patient reached a very good partial response (VGPR) at the cut-off date. Four out of the five patients are still on treatment with individual treatment durations of 13, 21, 24 and 33 weeks, respectively. The safety profile was consistent with the known safety profiles of bortezomib and MP0250, respectively. The independent dose escalation committee recommended to continue the clinical study at the higher dose of 12mg/kg and the first patient in the second dose cohort has been dosed recently.
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Goldschmidt (Medical Clinic V, University clinic Heidelberg), the Primary Investigator of the phase 2 study, commented: “We are encouraged by the initial efficacy and good tolerability data of MP0250 in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone. Despite upcoming new treatment options, multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease and new molecules with innovative mechanism of actions are needed.”
“We are pleased by the remarkable activity and the good safety profile that we have seen in the first cohort of this study. We are looking forward to patients being treated with the higher dose of MP0250 (12 mg/kg) and the additional phase 1b/2 study of MP0250 in combination with osimertinib in EGFR-mutated NSCLC,” said Dr. Andreas Harstrick, Chief Medical Officer at Molecular Partners.
MP0250 is a proprietary DARPin® drug candidate neutralizing VEGF and HGF and thus blocking key escape pathways and resistance. Increases in VEGF and HGF are associated with disease progression in multiple myeloma and have been linked to poor prognosis. They are known to be able to stimulate neovascularization, bone destruction, and myeloma proliferation, migration, and adhesion in the bone marrow. MP0250 shows activity in many preclinical tumor models, including in multiple myeloma models in which it enhances the effects of bortezomib on inhibition of M protein production and bone lysis and reduces invasion of tumor cells. MP0250 has shown a favorable safety profile in a phase 1 clinical study in 45 patients with advanced solid tumors.
In the ongoing phase 2 clinical study, the safety and efficacy of MP0250 is examined in combination with bortezomib (Velcade®) and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who have failed standard therapies. The study is performed in Germany, Poland and Italy. A total of 40 patients are planned to be treated, 12 patients in the dose-escalation phase (Part 1) to establish a safe dose, and an additional 28 patients in the dose-expansion phase (Part 2) resulting in a total of 34 patients at the target dose.
Additional safety and efficacy data are expected by the end of 2018.
An additional phase 1b/2 study will evaluate MP0250 in combination with osimertinib in patients with EGFR-mutated NSCLC pretreated with osimertinib. The study is conducted in the US and is open for patient enrollment2.
 ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT03136653
2 ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT03418532
- April 26, 2018 – Q1 2018 Management Statement
- August 30, 2018 – Publication of 2018 Half-year Results
- November 01, 2018 – Q3 2018 Management Statement
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 in 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® therapies 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. 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 systemic DARPin® molecule, MP0250, is in Phase 1 clinical development for the treatment of solid tumors and in Phase 2 development for hematological tumors. In addition, Molecular Partners intends to further evaluate MP0250 for solid tumors in a phase 1b/2 trial for EGFR-mutated NSCLC. MP0274, the second-most advanced DARPin® drug candidate in oncology, has broad anti-HER activity; it inhibits HER1, HER2 and HER3-mediated downstream signaling via Her2, leading to induction of apoptosis. MP0274 has moved into Phase 1. Molecular Partners is also advancing a growing preclinical pipeline that features several immuno-oncological development programs. DARPin® is a registered trademark owned by Molecular Partners AG.
About Molecular Partners AG
Molecular Partners AG is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is developing a new class of therapies known as DARPin® therapies. With a management team that includes many of the founding scientists, 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 ophthalmology and 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 (0) 44 755 77 00
Tel: +41 (0) 44 755 77 00
Tel: +41 (0) 43 344 42 42
Susan A. Noonan
S.A. Noonan Communications, LLC
Tel: +1 212 966 3650
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.
* DARPin® is a registered trademark owned by Molecular Partners AG