Molecular Partners to Regain Global Rights for MP0310 from Amgen
ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland and CONCORD, Mass., April 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR:
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, today announced that Amgen, its collaboration partner for MP0310 (AMG 506), has informed the Company of their decision to return global rights of MP0310 to Molecular Partners following a strategic pipeline review. Molecular Partners is presently conducting a phase 1 study of MP0310 and will look to present full phase 1 data at a scientific conference when available.
“We would like to thank Amgen for a very fruitful collaboration which has led us to the initial clinical findings that an immunostimulatory receptor, such as 4-1BB, can be activated in a localized fashion,” said Patrick Amstutz, Molecular Partners’ CEO. “This collaboration has enabled us to broaden our immuno-oncology expertise, DARPin platform knowledge, and clinical development capabilities which are now being applied across our portfolio. We continue to anticipate the full phase 1 dataset later this year, following which we can begin to explore potential collaborations for the program with new partners.”
MP0310 is a dual-targeted compound, targeting both FAP and 4-1BB, that has the potential to activate T-cells and other immune cells, specifically in the tumor microenvironment, aiming to avoid systemic side effects associated with 4-1BB activation. Given this mode of action, future development will call for combination therapy trials. No additional clinical studies of MP0310 have been planned at this time. Following completion of the ongoing Phase 1 study, the Company will look to initiate discussions with potential collaborators.
The collaboration with Amgen was initiated in December 2018, providing an upfront payment of $50 million to Molecular Partners. Per the terms of the agreement, Molecular Partners is conducting the phase 1 clinical trial of MP310. Under the agreement with Amgen, following Phase 1 data, Amgen would have had the right to progress the program into later stage development, including into combination trials. The phase 1 clinical study was initiated in October 2019 in patients with solid tumors. Initial preliminary data from patient biopsies has demonstrated the potential of MP0310 to colocalize with FAP (fibroblast activation protein) and activate 4-1BB in the tumor microenvironment, after a first dose. A second part of the phase 1 clinical trial was initiated to optimize dosing and to demonstrate sustained activity at later time points. Data from the second part of the trial is pending. The remaining patient cohorts will be treated and followed, per the trial protocol, which is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.