Radio DARPin Therapy Platform: Solid Tumors

Molecular Partners has developed an in-house Radio DARPin Therapy (RDT) Platform with a unique and innovative delivery system for radioactive payloads to solid tumors. In 2021, the Company established a collaboration with Novartis in the form of a license agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialize Radio DARPin Therapies for cancer.


Radiation therapies are a well-validated approach to treating cancer. However, the treatment often also affects healthy cells, resulting in harmful side effects. This limits the amount of radiation patients can receive, which can leave hard-to-reach tumor lesions untreated. This encourages relapse and ultimately limits therapeutic potential.


The unique nature of DARPins as an engineered protein drug class may allow Molecular Partners to overcome the limitations of other radioligand therapies. Radio DARPin Therapies are extremely targeted, specifically damaging tumor cells over healthy cells. The DARPin scaffold is highly customizable allowing a range of additional features tuned to an indication. Ultimately this may enable more effective treatment of small or hard-to-reach tumors.


Preclinical data shows that Molecular Partners’ proprietary Radio DARPin Therapy Platform can deliver high amount of radioactivity to tumors without accumulating in other tissues. Further data shows that Molecular Partners has been able to engineer the surface of RDT candidates to dramatically reduce accumulation in the kidney which is a historical challenge for small protein-based delivery vectors. In preclinical models, this surface engineering did not affect tumor uptake or uptake in other healthy organs and combination with another kidney reduction strategy provided a cumulative benefit.