Molecular Partners has used a mass-production process to develop its drug MP0420. The compound is produced in fermentation tanks with the help of bacteria. This process facilitates the production of the active ingredient in large quantities.
The mechanism of action of this compound, which is targeted against the coronavirus, is similar to that of antibodies, although it attacks the virus more aggressively and, according to a press release, can even block mutations of the virus. Moreover, in contrast to the transportation of antibodies and the majority of vaccines, there is no requirement for unbroken cold chain storage. This makes production and shipping both easier and cheaper.
“We believe the highly distinct manufacturing profile of DARPin candidates is a crucial element for successful therapeutic efforts”, comments Patrick Amstutz, CEO of Molecular Partners. DARPins are artificial proteins that form the basis of MP0420. With this straightforward manufacturing process, global demand could be met rapidly.
The Phase I study with in-human testing is set to begin in November. Molecular Partners is working in conjunction with AGC Biologics from Heidelberg, Germany. Should MP0420 receive authorization in Switzerland, the Swiss government will place an order for up to 3.2 million doses.