News Release Details

Molecular Partners Announces Scientific Leadership Transition After Successful Transformation of Research Organization to Focus on Novel DARPin® Therapeutics in Oncology

June 11, 2019

Pamela A. Trail, Ph.D., to transition from Chief Scientific Officer to strategic consultant;
Daniel Steiner, Ph.D., to assume leadership of research organization

Zurich-Schlieren, Switzerland, June 11, 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 that Pamela A. Trail, Ph.D., will depart from her role as Chief Scientific Officer effective July 1, 2019. The company’s Senior Vice President of Research Daniel Steiner, Ph.D., will assume leadership of the research department of the company. The transition completes the successful transformation of the company’s research organization around a defined set of therapeutic strategies in oncology. As part of the transition, Dr. Trail will continue to support the company as a strategic consultant.

“It has been a pleasure to be part of the transformation of Molecular Partners from a platform-based company to an oncology-focused company with a strong pipeline of DARPin® therapeutic candidates,” said Dr. Trail. “I look forward to supporting the Molecular Partners leadership team to bring these candidates to patients and also to assist in developing additional novel therapeutic designs.”

“I would like to thank Pamela for the outstanding contributions she made to define and focus our research activities and advance multiple promising new product candidates through the development pipeline,” said Patrick Amstutz, Ph.D., CEO of Molecular Partners. “We will build upon that strong foundation as Daniel assumes leadership of our research team and we continue to progress our multiple promising early stage pipeline candidates with novel therapeutic DARPin® designs in the area of oncology.”

Dr. Trail was appointed CSO of Molecular Partners in June 2018. Under Dr. Trail’s leadership, the Molecular Partners research team has made rapid progress in the company’s oncology focus areas:

  • Tumor-local immunomodulators: Molecular Partners’ first product candidate MP0310, which was the subject of the company’s December 2018 partnership with Amgen, is positioned to move into Phase 1 in H2 2019; a second candidate, the FAPxCD-40 DARPin®, is approaching development status.
  • Peptide MHC DARPin®: Multiple candidates are progressing, both in-house and also within a dedicated research collaboration with Gilead.
  • T-cell engagers: The company’s anti-CD3-DARPin® has been successfully established and the first product candidates presented in April 2019 at the PEGS conference in Boston.
  • DARPin®-drug conjugates: The company continues to make progress in designing DARPin® drug conjugates for the treatment of solid tumors. Data were presented in April 2019 at the AACR conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Financial Calendar

August 27, 2019 Publication of Half-year Results 2019 (unaudited)
October 31, 2019 Interim Management Statement Q3 2019

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

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


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.