Allergan and Molecular Partners Enter into Exclusive Alliance
<0> College Hill Life SciencesNicole YostTel: +44 (0) 20 7866 7855orDr. Christian Zahnd, CEOorDr. Patrick Amstutz, CBOTel: +41 (0) 44 755 77 00 </0>
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 activities.
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 approach.”
“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.”
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MP0260 is a DARPin®-based, small therapeutic protein with dual activity. It inhibits with high potency and selectivity all relevant forms of the two growth factors vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-B). The molecule is currently being explored for its use in wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Its high efficacy and long intravitreal PK have been demonstrated in various preclinical models.
Molecular Partners is a privately-owned biotech company focusing on the research, development and commercialization of a novel class of biological drugs known as DARPins. The company is committed to create medicines for diseases with unmet medical need and to dramatically improve existing therapies. DARPins combine the high specificity, selectivity and safety of monoclonal antibodies with many advantages of small molecules, including high stability and low-cost production.
Molecular Partners has established a strong DARPin pipeline which is well differentiated from standard therapeutic approaches. Next to ophthalmology, Molecular Partners is focusing on DARPin drugs in inflammation, oncology and other disease areas. The internal pipeline is expanded by partnered programs with leading pharmaceutical companies. Molecular Partners has established alliances with Allergan and Janssen and other pharmaceutical companies. The company is backed by a strong syndicate of investors and holds a strong patent estate covering all DARPin applications. For more information regarding to Molecular Partners, go to: .
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 approximately 10,500 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 eye care, neurosciences, medical aesthetics, medical dermatology, breast aesthetics, obesity intervention and urologics, Allergan is proud to celebrate more than 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. For more information regarding Allergan, go to: .
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including, but not limited to, the statements by Dr. Whitcup and Drs. Zahnd and Amstutz and other statements regarding the discovery and development of DARPin® products as well as the safety, effectiveness, approvals, adverse events and market potential of DARPin® products. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from Allergan's expectations and projections. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, general industry and pharmaceutical market conditions; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in the research and development and regulatory processes; challenges related to product marketing, such as the unpredictability of market acceptance for new products and/or the acceptance of new indications for such products; inconsistency of treatment results among patients; general economic conditions; and governmental laws and regulations affecting domestic and foreign operations. Allergan expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law. Additional information concerning the above-referenced risk factors and other risk factors can be found in Allergan's public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under the heading "Risk Factors" in Allergan's 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Additional information about Allergan is available at or you can contact the Allergan Investor Relations Department by calling 714-246-4636.
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