News Release Details

Molecular Partners to Present on DARPin Oncology Innovations at Protein & Antibody Engineering Summit Europe (PEGS)

November 14, 2023
  • Presentation will highlight versatility of DARPin designs in enabling conditional activation of the immune system to fight tumors, addressing toxicities seen with other targeted modalities
  • Review includes differentiated mechanisms of action including tumor-localized activation, avidity-driven selectivity and novel SWITCH-DARPin approach

ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland and CONCORD, Mass., Nov. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Molecular Partners AG (SIX: MOLN; NASDAQ: MOLN), a clinical-stage biotech company developing a new class of custom-built protein drugs known as DARPin therapeutics, will present on several of its programs at the 15th Annual Protein & Antibody Engineering European Summit (PEGS Europe), which runs November 14-16 in Lisbon, Portugal. The presentation will focus on the multiple ways Molecular Partners has designed DARPins to activate the immune system against cancer only under certain conditions. This conditional activation is intended to focus immune attack more specifically against tumor cells and minimize damage to healthy cells, a major challenge for current oncology drugs and development efforts.

The presentation consists of a review of several differentiated mechanisms of action that leverage the DARPin platform and conditional activation approaches/MoAs being advanced by Molecular Partners:

  • MP0317, a CD40 agonist, is designed to activate immune cells specifically within the tumor microenvironment by anchoring to fibroblast activation protein (FAP), which is highly expressed on tumor cells. Positive data from MP0317’s ongoing Phase 1 clinical study in patients with advanced solid tumors was recently presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).
  • MP0533, a novel tetra-specific DARPin for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (AML/MDS), engages CD3 on T cells and targets three tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) CD33, CD123, and CD70. MP0533 preferentially binds with higher avidity to cells expressing at least two of these three TAAs. This proposed MoA focuses on T cell-mediated preferential killing of AML cells while potentially sparing healthy cells. MP0533 is currently in Phase 1/2a clinical development and initial data will be presented at the 2023 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition.
  • The SWITCH-DARPin platform, a versatile novel DARPin design for conditionally triggering an immune cell attack only in the presence of defined tumor antigens.

Details of the presentation can be found below. The presentation will be made available on Molecular Partners' website after the conference.

Title: From Clustering Activated Agonists to SWITCH-DARPins
Presenter: Dr Daniel Steiner, Senior Vice President of Research, Molecular Partners
Agenda section: Engineering: Conditionally Activated Biologics
Timing: Tuesday November 14, 2023, 11:15am GMT

In addition to the conditionally activated DARPin designs referenced above, Molecular Partners continues to progress its Radio-DARPin Therapy (RDT) platform and portfolio of projects, both in-house and in partnership with Novartis. The portfolio of RDT candidates represent a unique delivery system for radioactive payloads to solid tumors and has significantly expanded the company’s work in oncology therapeutics.

About DARPin Therapeutics

DARPin therapeutics are a new class of custom-built protein therapeutics based on natural binding proteins that open a new dimension of multi-functionality and multi-target specificity in drug design. A single DARPin candidate can engage more than five targets, and its flexible architecture and small size offer benefits over other currently available protein therapeutics. DARPin therapeutics have been clinically validated through to registration via the development of abicipar, a DARPin drug candidate for ophthalmological indications. The DARPin platform is a fast and cost-effective drug discovery engine, producing drug candidates with optimized properties for development and very high production yields.

About Molecular Partners AG  
Molecular Partners AG is a clinical-stage biotech company developing DARPin (designed ankyrin repeat protein) therapeutics, a new class of custom-built protein drugs designed to address challenges current modalities cannot. The Company has formed partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies to advance DARPin therapeutics in the areas of oncology and virology and has compounds in various stages of clinical and preclinical development across multiple therapeutic areas. Find us on LinkedIn and X: @MolecularPrtnrs.

For further details, please contact:
Seth Lewis, SVP Investor Relations & Strategy
Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
Tel: +1 781 420 2361

Laura Jeanbart, PhD, Head of Portfolio Management & Communications
Zurich-Schlieren, Switzerland
Tel: +41 44 575 19 35

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, without limitation, implied and express statements regarding the clinical development of Molecular Partners’ current or future product candidates, expectations regarding timing for reporting data from ongoing clinical trials or the initiation of future clinical trials, the potential therapeutic and clinical benefits of Molecular Partners’ product candidates, the selection and development of future antiviral or other programs, and Molecular Partners’ expected business and financial outlook, including expenses and cash utilization for 2023 and its expectation of its current cash runway. These statements may be identified by words such as “believe”, “expect”, “may”, “plan”, “potential”, “will”, “would” and similar expressions, and are based on Molecular Partners’ current beliefs and expectations. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements. Some of the key factors that could cause actual results to differ from Molecular Partners’ expectations include its plans to develop and potentially commercialize its product candidates; Molecular Partners’ reliance on third party partners and collaborators over which it may not always have full control; Molecular Partners’ ongoing and planned clinical trials and preclinical studies for its product candidates, including the timing of such trials and studies; the risk that the results of preclinical studies and clinical trials may not be predictive of future results in connection with future clinical trials; the timing of and Molecular Partners’ ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for its product candidates; the extent of clinical trials potentially required for Molecular Partners’ product candidates; the clinical utility and ability to achieve market acceptance of Molecular Partners’ product candidates; the impact of any health pandemic, macroeconomic factors and other global events on Molecular Partners’ preclinical studies, clinical trials or operations, or the operations of third parties on which it relies; Molecular Partners’ plans and development of any new indications for its product candidates; Molecular Partners’ commercialization, marketing and manufacturing capabilities and strategy; Molecular Partners’ intellectual property position; Molecular Partners’ ability to identify and in-license additional product candidates; and other risks and uncertainties that are described in the Risk Factors section of Molecular Partners’ Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, filed with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 9, 2023 and other filings Molecular Partners makes with the SEC. These documents are available on the Investors page of Molecular Partners’ website at Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are based on information available to Molecular Partners as of the date of this release, and Molecular Partners assumes no obligation to, and does not intend to, update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.