This week, Switzerland’s federal government signed an agreement for a therapeutic COVID-19 drug in development by a Zurich based company.
The deal gives Switzerland priority access to the first 200,000 doses of the SARS-CoV-2 drug developed by Molecular Partners.
If the drug successfully passes clinical trials, planned over the coming autumn, and is approved for patient use, Switzerland will get the first doses.
The deal also includes an option to order a further 3 million doses of the immunotherapeutic drug. The drug’s primary use will be to treat those infected with the virus. It is possible that it could also be used as a prophylactic to protect against infection in certain cases.
Molecular Partners is a biotech firm based in Schlieren in the canton of Zurich. It was founded in 2004 as a spin-off of the University of Zurich and is focused on developing its own class of drugs called DARPins® therapies, proteins designed to recognise and bind to antigens. The proteins are designed to stop viruses entering human cells and prevent those that have entered escaping.