Molecular Partners [NASDAQ: MOLN] Announces Research Partnership with University of Bern

Molecular Partners AG [NASDAQ: MOLN] has started a research partnership with the University of Bern, to expand the growth of the Company’s wholly-owned acute myeloid leukemia (AML) candidate, MP0533, into the clinic. The Bern team is headed by Prof. Adrian Ochsenbein, and Prof. Carsten Riether, Ph.D., who examine the interplay of immune cells and leukemic cancer cells to develop enhanced immunotherapies for various types of cancer.

The partnership between MOLN and the University of Bern intended to take advantage of Molecular Partners’ patented DARPin technology and the University of Bern group’s knowledge in AML, and particularly in leukemic stem cells (LSC). AML is fast-growing cancer having a high mortality rate. The present cure of this carries high safety risks and can be very harsh, especially for adult and weak patients.

Molecular Partners disclosed that its preclinical results have demonstrated that MP0533 is highly specific, fast-acting, and with a wide therapeutic window so far. The company has full confidence and is hoping that these traits would provide the cure for patients in need. The company’s partnership with the Bern team offers it access to advanced AML methodologies and patient samples.

More importantly, this partnership will provide guidance for Molecular Partners from two of the world’s leading AML scientists, who have already helped to develop anti-CD70 antibodies to the clinic and can share their unique experiences. Moreover, MP0533 is a DARPin created to involve CD3 on T cells and target AML cells by the tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) CD33, CD123, and CD70.

Furthermore, researchers deemed that the main reason AML is so difficult to treat is a small population of therapy-resistant leukemia stem cells, which drives the relapse of the disease after initial successful therapy. Researchers also believed that novel therapies would have to take aim at targeting and eradicating these treatment-resistant LSCs.