Allergan and Molecular Partners have expanded an existing partnership with two separate agreements to discover, develop, and commercialize DARPin products for the treatment of serious ophthalmic diseases. Molecular Partners will receive upfront payments of $62.5 million and is eligible to receive additional success-based payments, including as much as $1.4 billion in development, regulatory and sales milestones, and tiered royalties for future product sales.
The first exclusive license agreement is for the development and commercialization of a 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. Allergan and Molecular Partners will work 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 royalties.
Under the second exclusive discovery alliance, the companies will design and develop DARPins against selected targets for serious eye diseases. Allergan has the right to exercise three options to exclusively license compounds for ophthalmology and would pay Molecular Partners a fee and take over responsibility for all development, manufacturing, and commercialization activities.
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.”