Allergan, Molecular Partners enter DARPin agreements

August 29, 2012

Allergan Inc. and Molecular Partners AG have entered into two agreements to discover, develop, and commercialize proprietary therapeutic designed ankyrin repeat protein (DARPin) products for the treatment of opthalmic diseases.

Irvine, CA, and Zurich-Schlieren, Switzerland-Allergan Inc. and Molecular Partners AG have entered into two agreements to discover, develop, and commercialize proprietary therapeutic designed ankyrin repeat protein (DARPin) products for the treatment of ophthalmic diseases.

DARPins are genetically engineered antibody mimetic proteins that exhibit highly specific and high-affinity target protein binding. The non-immunoglobulin proteins have shown promise over antibodies for target binding in drug discovery and development.

The first agreement is an exclusive license agreement for the design, development, and commercialization of MP0260, a dual anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A/platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-B DARPin, 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 companies 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 license collaboration compounds for ophthalmology exclusively. On 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.

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 for future product sales.

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