Molecular Partner’s DARPins may help reshape anticancer treatment

09.11.2015 10:39

Molecular Partners AG announced the first demonstration in patients of the potential role of DARPin-based therapy in oncology. Preliminary Phase I results demonstrate the potential utility of DARPins in anticancer treatment.

A team of independent researchers presented preliminary Phase I data of MP0250, a multi-DARPin blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), at a conference in Boston. “Treatment with MP0250 was well-tolerated in these patients and resulted in sustained drug exposure. We were very encouraged to see patients with prolonged stable disease. DARPins may represent a new class of molecules with the potential to specifically inhibit multiple critical pathways with just one drug,” commented Prof. Jordi Rodon, Institute of Oncology, Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, Spain, who presented the poster. “Results from this ongoing study are a first example of the feasibility of the DARPin approach in oncology, and we look forward to confirming these results in further research of this promising compound.”

“The data from this ongoing phase I study are the first demonstration that DARPins can be administered systemically to patients with good tolerability and that sustained exposures over multiple treatment cycles can be achieved,” said Andreas Harstrick, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Molecular Partners. “By binding to specific oncologic targets with high affinity, DARPins may offer synergies with standard-of-care drugs as well as with novel approaches such as immunotherapy. These preliminary results will inform our Phase II strategy for MP0250 and the overall strategy for our DARPin technology platform, which may help reshape anticancer treatment.”

Molecular Partners is advancing a growing proprietary pipeline of DARPin therapies in oncology. The most advanced systemic DARPin, MP0250, is in Phase I clinical studies in patients with 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, which 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.

(Press release)

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