Molecular Partners has agreed a research cooperation with Bern University Hospital. According to a press release issued by the biotechnology firm based in Schlieren in the canton of Zurich, the focus of their joint research efforts will be on further developing the immunotherapy candidate MP0533 to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Two AML experts, professors Adrian Ochsenbein und Carsten Riether from the Department of Medical Oncology at Bern University Hospital, are involved in the project. The aim will be to develop MP0533 for clinical usage.
Nicolas Leupin, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Molecular Partners, explains that the disease AML is a fast-progressing cancer that regrettably features a high mortality rate. “Current treatments carry high safety risks and can be very harsh, especially for older and frail patients”, he comments. The new collaboration with the team based in Bern will offer access to advanced AML methodologies and patient samples, while the experience and guidance from two of the world’s leading AML researchers will be of even greater importance.
“The main reason AML is so hard to treat is a small population of therapy-resistant leukemia stem cells, which drives the relapse of the disease after initial successful treatment. Novel therapies will have to aim at targeting and eliminating these treatment-resistant LSCs”, Ochsenbein explains in the press release. He is additionally hopeful that “emerging therapeutics like MP0533 will be able to provide a much-needed solution for AML patients”. In 2016, Ochsenbein won the prestigious Otto Naegeli Prize for breakthrough research on CD70/CD27 signaling with therapeutic potential for cancer patients.
The Greater Zurich Area is one of the leading locations for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in Europe. The region is home to the innovative companies in the world, from Biogen and Johnson & Johnson to Roche and Amgen, and attracts capital and researchers from all over the world.