Molecular Partners, Allergan license agreement a sight for sore eyes

Molecular Partners AG and Allergan, Inc. have formed a new alliance, entering into a license agreement for the compound MP0112, a phase II proprietary therapeutic DARPin protein that targets VEGF.

Kelsey Kaustinen
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IRVINE, Calif. & ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland—MolecularPartners AG and Allergan, Inc. have formed a new alliance, entering into alicense agreement for the compound MP0112, a phase II proprietary therapeuticDARPin protein that targets VEGF. MP0112 is being investigated for itspotential in treating retinal diseases.
"This is a transformational deal for Molecular Partners, andAllergan is the ideal partner for MP0112 to build the most value out of ourlead product," says Christian Zahnd, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer of MolecularPartners. "Further, this agreement strengthens our ability to execute on theprogression of our substantial internal systemic pipeline."
The terms of the agreement grant Allergan exclusive globalrights to MP0112 for ophthalmic indications. Molecular Partners and Allerganwill work together during Phase IIb development of the compound, and Allerganis responsible for Phase III development as well as commercializationactivities. Molecular Partners will be paid $45 million in an up-front payment,and the company is entitled to receive additional payments of up to anaggregate of $375 million if they meet certain development, regulatory andsales milestones. Molecular Partners also stands to receive tiered double-digitroyalties on any future sales of MP0112.
The license agreement "aligns with Allergan's strategy tobecome a leader in developing new treatments for retinal disease," according toDr. Scott M. Whitcup, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer ofAllergan. Patrick Amstutz, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer of Molecular Partners,adds that the deal "validates our DARPin platform in a clinical setting andsets the stage for additional clinical stage strategic collaborations in thenear future."
Previous studies of MP0112 have shown that the compound iswell-tolerated, in addition to having a potentially long-lasting effect onvision gain even after just one injection. The studies showed that mostpatients that were treated with a higher dose of MP0112 experienced a potentialbeneficial effect on visual acuity that lasted for approximately 16 weeks.
"The goal of this program to develop a potentially moreeffective treatment for diseases like neovascular age-related macular degenerationwith the possibility for less frequent intravitreal injections," says Whitcup.
SOURCE: BioSpace Press Release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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