Under the agreement, Allergan obtains exclusive global rights for MP0112 for ophthalmic indications. The parties will work together during phase IIb development and, Allergan will be responsible for phase III development and commercialization activities. Molecular Partners will receive an up-front payment of USD $45 million and is further entitled to receive additional payments of up to an aggregate of USD $375 million upon meeting certain development, regulatory and sales milestones. In addition, Molecular Partners will receive tiered double-digit royalties on any future sales of MP0112.
Scott M. Whitcup, M.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer of Allergan commented: "This agreement aligns with Allergan’s strategy to become a leader in developing new treatments for retinal disease. The goal of this program is to develop a potentially more effective treatment for diseases like neovascular age-related macular degeneration with the possibility for less frequent intravitreal injections."
Data on MP0112 from two separate phase I/IIa trials in wet age-related macular degeneration (wetAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) were presented at the meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Fort Lauderdale, FL earlier this week (May 1-5, 2011). The studies showed that MP0112 is well tolerated and has a potentially long lasting effect on vision gain after a single injection. In the studies, for most patients in the cohorts treated with the higher dose of the investigational compound, the potential beneficial effect on visual acuity lasted for approximately 16 weeks.
Christian Zahnd, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Molecular Partners commented: "This is a transformational deal for Molecular Partners, and Allergan is the ideal partner for MP0112 to build the most value out of our lead product. Further, this agreement strengthens our ability to execute on the progression of our substantial internal systemic pipeline."
Patrick Amstutz, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer of Molecular Partners added: "This deal validates our DARPin® platform in a clinical setting and sets the stage for additional clinical stage strategic collaborations in the near future."
MP0112 is a DARPin®-based, small therapeutic protein, which inhibits all relevant forms of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) with high potency and selectivity. The molecule is currently under development for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). Its high efficacy has been demonstrated in various preclinical models. MP0112 has shown the potential to show significantly longer therapeutic effects in various animal models potentially leading to a drug with the need for less frequent dosing as compared to standard of care.
About Allergan, Inc. (www.allergan.com )
Allergan is a multi-specialty health care company established more than 60 years ago with a commitment to uncover the best of science and develop and deliver innovative and meaningful treatments to help people reach their life’s potential. Today, we have more than 9,000 highly dedicated and talented employees, global marketing and sales capabilities with a presence in more than 100 countries, a rich and ever-evolving portfolio of pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices and over-the-counter consumer products, and state-of-the-art resources in R&D, manufacturing and safety surveillance that help millions of patients see more clearly, move more freely and express themselves more fully. From our beginnings as an eye care company to our focus today on several medical specialties, including ophthalmology, neurosciences, medical aesthetics, medical dermatology, breast aesthetics, obesity intervention and urologics, Allergan is proud to celebrate 60 years of medical advances and proud to support the patients and physicians who rely on our products and the employees and communities in which we live and work.