Zurich-Schlieren, January 08, 2018. Molecular Partners AG (ticker: MOLN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of drugs known as DARPin® therapies*, today announced initial safety and efficacy data from its ongoing phase 2 study of MP0250 in multiple myeloma (MM).
Eight patients have been treated in the first cohort of 8 mg/kg MP0250 and were included in the safety analysis set. No dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) have been reported to date. Most frequent adverse events were Grade 1 and 2, except two Grade 3 adverse events (thrombocytopenia and transitory liver enzyme elevation) observed in two patients.
Of seven response evaluable patients receiving MP0250 in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone, three patients showed partial response (PR) and one patient minimal response (MR). Responses were analyzed according to the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) criteria.
“We are very pleased with the good initial safety and tolerability data we observed in the first eight patients treated with MP0250 in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone. Furthermore, we see promising responses within this first dose cohort. We look forward to evaluating additional patients at higher doses of MP0250 with bortezomib and dexamethasone to treat resistant multiple myeloma patients,” commented Dr. Andreas Harstrick, Chief Medical Officer at Molecular Partners.
MP0250 is a proprietary DARPin® drug candidate neutralizing VEGF and HGF and thus blocking key escape pathways and resistance. Increases in VEGF and HGF are associated with disease progression in multiple myeloma and have been linked to poor prognosis: they are known to be able to stimulate neovascularization, bone destruction, and myeloma proliferation, migration, and adhesion in the bone marrow. MP0250 shows activity in many preclinical tumor models including in multiple myeloma models in which it enhances the effects of bortezomib on inhibition of M protein production and bone lysis and reduces invasion of tumor cells. MP0250 has shown a favorable safety profile in a phase 1 clinical study in 45 patients in advanced solid tumors.
In the phase 2 MM study, the safety and efficacy of MP0250 is examined in combination with bortezomib (Velcade®) and dexamethasone in patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who have failed standard therapies. The study is performed in Germany, Poland and Italy. A total of 40 patients are planned to be treated, 12 patients in the dose-escalation phase (Part 1) to establish a safe dose, and an additional 28 patients in the dose-expansion phase (Part 2) resulting in a total of 34 patients at the target dose. Additional safety and efficacy data are expected by the end of 2018.
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 are potent, specific, safe and very versatile. They can engage in more than 5 targets at once, 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 good safety profile, low immunogenicity and long half-life in the bloodstream and the eye, DARPin® therapies 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. 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 development. The most advanced systemic DARPin® molecule, MP0250, is in phase 1 clinical development for the treatment of solid tumors and in phase 2 for hematological tumors (multiple myeloma). In addition, Molecular Partners intends to further evaluate MP0250 for solid tumors in a phase 1b/2 study for EGFR-mutated NSCLC. MP0274, the second-most advanced DARPin® drug candidate in oncology, has broad anti-HER activity; it inhibits HER1, HER2 and HER3-mediated downstream signaling via Her2, leading to induction of apoptosis. MP0274 has moved into phase 1. Molecular Partners is also advancing a growing preclinical pipeline that features several immuno-oncological development programs, including MP0310, a tumor-restricted T-cell activator.
About Molecular Partners AG
Molecular Partners AG is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is developing a new class of therapies known as DARPin® therapies. With a management team that includes many of the founding scientists, 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 ophthalmology and 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: www.molecularpartners.com.
*DARPin® is a registered trademark owned by Molecular Partners AG.
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