Allergan, Inc. (NYSE: AGN) and Molecular Partners AG today announced
that they have significantly expanded their existing relationship by
entering into two separate agreements to discover, develop, and
commercialize proprietary therapeutic DARPin® products for the treatment
of serious ophthalmic diseases.
Molecular Partners will receive combined upfront payments of $62.5
million under the two agreements and is eligible to receive additional
success-based payments, including up to $1.4 billion in aggregate
development, regulatory and sales milestones, and tiered royalties up
into the low double-digits for future product sales.
The first agreement is an exclusive license agreement for the design,
development and commercialization of a potent dual anti-VEGF-A/PDGF-B
DARPin® ("MP0260") and its corresponding backups for the treatment of
exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and related conditions.
Under the license agreement, Allergan and Molecular Partners will work
together to develop MP0260 through human proof of concept, at which
point Molecular Partners has the option to co-fund Allergan's
development costs in exchange for a significant royalty step up.
The second agreement is an exclusive discovery alliance agreement under
which the parties will collaborate to design and develop DARPins against
selected targets that are implicated in causing serious diseases of the
eye. During the research phase, Allergan has the right to exercise three
options to exclusively license collaboration compounds for
ophthalmology. Upon execution of each option, Allergan will pay
Molecular Partners an option exercise fee and be solely responsible for
all downstream development, manufacturing, and commercialization
Scott M. Whitcup, M.D., Executive Vice President, Research and
Development, Chief Scientific Officer of Allergan commented: "As a
leader in ophthalmology, Allergan is committed to developing new
treatments for serious eye diseases like AMD. We look forward to further
developing a novel therapy that blocks both VEGF and PDGF, as a
potential way to improve vision in patients with wet AMD."
Christian Zahnd, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Molecular Partners
said: "With Allergan we have found the ideal partner to generate a
strong pipeline of DARPin-based drug candidates with the goal to treat
retinal and other severe ocular diseases. This significant expansion of
our agreement together with the fast progress in the ongoing phase IIb
development of AGN-150998 / MP0112 is a great validation of the DARPin
"This is an important step forward in our strategy to build on strong
partnerships with the leaders in a therapeutic area" added Patrick
Amstutz, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer of Molecular Partners, "DARPins
are potent biologics which may address significant unmet medical needs
in large patient populations in various disease areas."