Allergan strengthens DARPin development and discovery alliance with Molecular Partners
- Allergan expands the broad DARPin alliance in ophthalmology
- Alliance covers abicipar, multi-DARPin VEGF/PDGF and other research programs
- Allergan will pay USD 35 million in accelerated milestone payments
Zurich-Schlieren, July 21, 2015. Molecular Partners AG (ticker: MOLN) today announced that Allergan, Inc. has reinforced its broad commitment to the discovery, research and development of multiple DARPin‐based products in ophthalmology in collaboration with Molecular Partners. The collaboration includes a multi‐VEGF/PDGF DARPin currently in preclinical development and several additional discovery programs. Abicipar, a long-acting VEGF antagonist, for which Phase III development was recently initiated, was the first DARPin in the partnership.
In connection with its strengthened commitment to the DARPin research and discovery alliance, Allergan has agreed to make accelerated milestone payments of USD 35 million.
Furthermore, Molecular Partners is entitled to receive additional payments and certain success-based milestone payments from Allergan in connection with abicipar, the multi-VEGF/PDGF DARPin and additional discovery programs. This includes up to more than USD 1.7 billion in aggregate development, regulatory and/or sales milestones, as well as tiered royalty payments (up to the double digit percentage range) on any future product sales. Molecular Partners also retains an option to co-fund development costs in exchange for a royalty step-up on the multi-VEGF/PDGF DARPin.
“We are very pleased to support investing into discovery and early development stage molecules where we see a clear angle of differentiation over current treatments,” said David Nicholson, EVP Brand R&D, and added: “The DARPin candidates in our pipeline are of high priority to us as they have the potential to bring significant benefit to patients.”
“We are very pleased to see Allergan’s continued commitment to our collaboration and look forward to jointly developing an exciting pipeline to treat severe diseases of the eye. The dedication of the team at Allergan to ophthalmology will also allow us to focus our internal efforts to advance our proprietary pipeline in oncology with a special focus in immuno-oncology,” says Christian Zahnd, CEO of Molecular Partners.
About Molecular Partners in ophthalmology
Molecular Partners has a strong focus on creating differentiated therapeutics for retinal diseases, including wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME), two diseases leading to loss of vision. Together with Allergan, Molecular Partners is advancing abicipar is a long-acting mono-DARPinä that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and is currently in pivotal trials in wet AMD and phase II studies in DME. Abicipar has the potential to require less frequent injections into the eye than the current anti-VEGF standards of care, while providing equal or better improvements in vision, both seen as mayor patient benefits in these indications. Further, several programs, including multi-VEGF/PDGF DARPinä, a product that inhibits both VEGF and PDGF, are being advanced through preclinical and clinical development to commercial launch.
About Molecular Partners in oncology
Molecular Partners is advancing a growing proprietary pipeline of DARPin therapies in oncology. The most advanced systemic DARPin is MP0250 is in Phase 1 clinical studies in solid tumors. MP0250 inhibits both VEGF and HGF from binding to their receptors, thereby blocking tumor growth and tumor spreading. The second most advanced oncology DARPin is MP0274 and has broad anti-HER activity inhibiting both downstream HER2 and HER3-mediated signaling and leading to induction of apoptosis. MP0274 is currently in preclinical development. The current focus of Molecular Partners in research is immuno-oncology.
About Molecular Partners AG
Molecular Partners is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is developing a new powerful class of therapies known as DARPins. DARPins are potent, specific and versatile small protein therapies, which have the potential to offer benefits over conventional monoclonal antibodies or other currently available protein therapeutics. The DARPin technology has the potential to offer a multi-specific approach to treatment, which enables DARPins to target multiple pathways, or multiple epitopes on a single target to achieve substantial patient benefit. DARPins have the potential to advance modern medicine and significantly improve the treatment of serious diseases, including cancer and sight-threatening disorders.
Molecular Partners has four compounds in various stages of clinical and preclinical development and several more in the research stage, with a current focus on ophthalmology and oncology. The company has ongoing research and development partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies, including Allergan, Roche and Janssen and is backed by established biotech investors. For more information regarding Molecular Partners, go to: www.molecularpartners.com.
For further details, please contact:
-+41 (0)43 344 4242
Dr. Christian Zahnd, CEO
Dr. Patrick Amstutz, COO
Tel: +41 (0) 44 755 77 00
Tel: +44 (0) 7581 071707
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