- MP0317 activates multiple antitumor immune cell types in vitro when in the presence of tumor stroma associated FAP
- MP0317 mouse surrogate localizes to FAP-expressing tumors and induces strong and durable anti-tumor responses without systemic toxicity, and demonstrates strong anti-tumor immune memory responses
ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, SWITZERLAND / ACCESSWIRE / September 24, 2020 / Molecular Partners AG (SIX:MOLN), a clinical-stage biotech company that is developing a new class of custom-built protein drugs known as DARPin® therapeutics, today announced the presentation of preclinical findings supporting the mechanism of MP0317, a tri-specific DARPin® product candidate that includes binding domains for fibroblast activation protein (FAP), CD40, and human serum albumin (HSA). The presentation, titled "Novel therapeutic design of tumor-targeted CD40 agonist DARPin® molecule leads to antitumor activity with limited toxicity", will be presented today at 2pm (EDT) at the 11th Annual World Bispecific Summit by Clara Domke, a senior scientist oncology research at Molecular Partners.
Data presented demonstrate that a mouse surrogate MP0317 molecule induces FAP-dependent activation of B cells, dendritic cells and macrophages. FAP is expressed on activated cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF) and is overexpressed in the stroma of many solid tumors. Since MP0317 only activates these immune cells in the presence of FAP, MP0317 may avoid the dose-limiting side effects historically associated with systemic administration of CD40 antibodies. Additionally, in a FAP-positive colorectal cancer model, MP0317 induced complete tumor responses and demonstrated induction of an anti-tumor immunological memory, protecting the mice against subsequent tumor challenges without the need for additional treatment.
"Potent and situationally-activated antitumor therapies are an important new area for cancer treatment, when systemic toxicity can limit effective dosing of therapies with proven mechanisms like CD40 activation. With MP0317 we are tackling multiple kinds of cancer where highly fibrous, FAP-rich stromal tissue has historically presented a barrier to immune cell penetration. These data demonstrate the potential for turning this barrier into a target, by utilizing it as an anchor for the delivery of super-potent immunostimulatory molecules," said Nicolas Leupin M.D., chief medical officer of Molecular Partners. "We look forward to filing appropriate regulatory applications for MP0317 around the end of 2020 and initiating clinical studies in the first half of 2021."
The presentation will be made available on the company's corporate website, www.molecularpartners.com.
About Molecular Partners' Oncology Portfolio
DARPin® candidates are uniquely versatile, custom-built molecules with the potential to help people suffering from a broad range of diseases, including cancer. Given their small size, multi-functional design and unique binding surfaces, DARPin® molecules can address molecular targets found within dense tumor microenvironments that have been difficult to access by other drug modalities, such as antibodies. Molecular Partners has delivered substantial proof-of-concept in its oncology portfolio by advancing investigational DARPin® therapeutics against highly validated targets such as HER2 and VEGF into clinical studies. The Company has focused the next phase of its oncology portfolio strategy on exploring novel targets and mechanisms for selective immune activation. Molecular Partners has designed DARPin® candidates to activate only when proximal to the target tumor, improving efficacy and potentially eliminating off-target side effects. Promising immune modulators such as peptide-MHC complexes, 4-1BB and CD40 are also the target of novel DARPin® programs.
About Molecular Partners AG
Molecular Partners AG is a clinical-stage biotech company developing a new class of custom-built protein drugs known as DARPin® therapeutics, designed to address challenges current modalities cannot. The company has compounds in various stages of clinical and preclinical development with a focus on oncology. Molecular Partners has formed partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies to advance DARPin® therapeutics across multiple therapeutic areas.
For more information regarding Molecular Partners AG, go to: www.molecularpartners.com
For further details, please contact:
Seth Lewis, SVP IR, Comms, & Strategy
Tel: +1 781 420 2361
Tom Donovan, U.S. Media
Tel: +1 857 559 3397
Thomas Schneckenburger, IR & European Media
Tel: +41 79 407 9952
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements relating to the company and its business. Although the company believes its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, all statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release about future events are subject to (i) change without notice and (ii) factors beyond the company's control. These statements may include, without limitation, any statements preceded by, followed by, or including words such as "target," "believe," "expect," "aim," "intend," "may," "anticipate," "estimate," "plan," "project," "will," "can have," "likely," "should," "would," "could", and other words and terms of similar meaning or the negative thereof. Forward-looking 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 undue reliance on these statements, particularly not in connection with any contract or investment decision. Except as required by law, the company assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
SOURCE: Molecular Partners AG
View source version on accesswire.com: