Discovery alliance with Roche discontinued

24.07.2015 11:55

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Molecular Partners confirms its focus on proprietary oncology pipeline - discovery alliance with Roche discontinued.

Molecular Partners today reiterated its commitment to its un-partnered pipeline. This includes advancing the clinical and preclinical development pipeline and ramping up the activities in immuno-oncology. Following Molecular Partners’ expansion of its strategic ophthalmology partnership with Allergan, the company confirmed the discontinuation of the DARPin-toxin alliance with Roche.

Molecular Partners had entered into an oncology alliance with Roche in December 2013. Under this partnership, Roche and Molecular Partners generated DARPin-toxin fusion candidates. Roche is currently terminating its Pseudomonas exotoxin conjugate programs, including antibody and DARPin-based projects. The agreement put in place between Molecular Partners and Roche was specific for the use of DARPins in combination with Pseudomonas exotoxin.

“The DARPin platform generated highly differentiated binders in short time, and it is unfortunate that Roche decided to discontinue these programs for reasons related to the toxin,“ said Christian Zahnd, Chief Executive Officer of Molecular Partners and continued: “We discussed other areas of mutual interest, but given our own proprietary focus on immuno-oncology, it made no sense to amend the current collaboration. This way, we can avoid working on potentially competing pathways.”

Molecular Partners will evaluate if DARPins from the collaboration will be added to its proprietary pipeline directly or repurposed in other programs.

Molecular Partners is advancing a growing proprietary pipeline of DARPin therapies in oncology. The most advanced systemic DARPin is MP0250 is in Phase 1 clinical studies in solid tumors. MP0250 inhibits both VEGF and HGF from binding to their receptors, thereby blocking tumor growth and tumor spreading. The second most advanced oncology DARPin is MP0274 and has broad anti-HER activity inhibiting both downstream HER2 and HER3-mediated signaling and leading to induction of apoptosis. MP0274 is currently in preclinical development. The current focus of Molecular Partners in research is immuno-oncology.

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