News Release Details

Molecular Partners Announces Appointment of Nicolas Leupin, M.D., MBA, as Chief Medical Officer

August 8, 2019

Zurich-Schlieren, Switzerland, August 8, 2019. Molecular Partners AG (SIX: MOLN), a clinical-stage biotech company that is developing a new class of drugs known as DARPin® therapies*, today announced the appointment of Nicolas Leupin, M.D., MBA, to the role of Chief Medical Officer and Member of Management Board as of September 1, 2019. Dr. Leupin will succeed Chief Medical Officer Andreas Harstrick, M.D., who will remain with the company and continue to support its medical strategy.

Dr. Leupin is a medical oncologist with a proven track record in drug development, most recently as Chief Medical Officer of argenx, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing antibody-based therapies for treatment of severe autoimmune diseases and cancer. In that role he led the company’s global clinical strategy and execution, successfully supporting the company’s transformation into a late-stage clinical company, and was responsible for translating preclinical hypotheses into innovative proof-of concept clinical trials.

Prior to argenx, Dr. Leupin held roles of increasing responsibility at Celgene, where he supported the clinical development of several drug candidates in lymphoma and multiple myeloma, resulting in regulatory filings in Europe and the U.S.

“Nicolas’ deep experience in developing and translating innovative therapeutic concepts into patient value will be a key asset to Molecular Partners, as we broaden our pipeline of novel DARPin® drug candidates in our quest to change the treatment paradigms in oncology,” said Patrick Amstutz, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Molecular Partners. “We’re very grateful to Andreas for his important contributions to shepherd our first oncology DARPin® candidates into multiple clinical trials, and to prove the capabilities of systemic administration for this drug class, with long half-life and very low immunogenic risks. Further, his expertise and leadership were instrumental to generate first patient value with MP0250 in multiple myeloma.”

“It’s a very exciting time in the history of cancer therapy, and Molecular Partners’ approach has all the ingredients to play a key role in moving the needle of medicine,” said Dr. Leupin. “Thanks to their unique architecture, DARPin® molecules allow for clever therapeutic designs, and could therefore offer new solutions for difficult-to-treat cancers. As Chief Medical Officer, my focus will be to fully exploit the huge potential of this new class of drugs in order to offer innovative options for patients who are most in need.”

Financial Calendar

August 27, 2019 Publication of Half-year Results 2019 (unaudited)
October 31, 2019 Interim Management Statement Q3 2019
December 12, 2019 R&D Day in New York

*DARPin® is a registered trademark owned by Molecular Partners AG

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 can engage more than five targets, 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 low immunogenicity and long half-life in the bloodstream and the eye, DARPin® therapeutics 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 and immuno-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 preclinical development. The most advanced DARPin® therapeutic candidate wholly owned by Molecular Partners, MP0250, is in phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of solid and hematological tumors. MP0274, the second-most advanced DARPin® candidate owned by Molecular Partners, binds to Her2 and inhibits downstream signaling, which leads to induction of apoptosis. MP0274 is currently in phase 1. The company’s lead immuno-oncology product candidate MP0310 is a FAP x 4-1BB multi-DARPin® therapeutic candidate designed to locally activate immune cells in the tumor by binding to FAP on tumor stromal cells (localizer) and co-stimulating T cells via 4-1BB (immune modulator). Molecular Partners has closed a collaboration agreement with Amgen for the exclusive clinical development and commercialization of MP0310. MP0310 is expected to enter into the clinic in H2 2019. Molecular Partners is also advancing a growing preclinical and research pipeline in immuno-oncology that features its “I/O toolbox” and additional development programs. DARPin® is a registered trademark owned by Molecular Partners AG.

About Molecular Partners AG

Molecular Partners AG is a clinical-stage biotech company that is developing a new class of therapies known as DARPin® therapeutics. 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 oncology and immuno-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:

For further details, please contact:

Dr. Patrick Amstutz, CEO
Tel: +41 44 755 77 00

Dr. Thomas Schneckenburger, IR & Media
Tel: +41 44 755 5728

Susan A. Noonan, IR USA
Tel: +1 212 966 3650

Lisa Raffensperger, International Media
Tel: +1 617 903 8783


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.