Milestone payment for sustained-delivery device

January 25, 2012

Genentech announced it will make its first milestone payment to ForSight VISION4 Inc. as part of an exclusive license agreement to develop an investigational device designed to provide sustained delivery of the vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor ranibizumab (Lucentis).

South San Francisco, CA-Genentech announced it will make its first milestone payment to ForSight VISION4 Inc. as part of an exclusive license agreement to develop an investigational device designed to provide sustained delivery of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor ranibizumab (Lucentis).

The device is a refillable drug port delivery system designed to release ranibizumab over a period of months.

Genentech and Roche entered into an agreement with ForSight VISION4 in December 2010 for exclusive worldwide rights to the company’s proprietary implantable ocular device in the development and commercialization of anti-VEGF-A targeted ophthalmic therapies. This first payment is based on Genentech’s decision to submit an investigational new drug application for clinical testing of the device in combination with ranibizumab. Currently, ranibizumab is recommended to be administered by monthly injections to the eye.

“This development reflects Genentech’s commitment to ophthalmology and investigating new technologies that may potentially provide sustained delivery of [ranibizumab] and reduce the frequency of injections,” said Hal Barron, MD, chief medical officer and head of global product development for Genentech. “The license agreement with ForSight VISION4 represents part of our ongoing strategy to support the retinal community by innovating and discovering new ways to help people with sight-threatening illnesses.”

The agreement provides Genentech with the opportunity to apply the device to other select targets for treatment of ophthalmic diseases. Genentech is responsible for clinical development and commercialization and is collaborating with ForSight VISION4 in the manufacture and engineering of the device. ForSight VISION4 is entitled to undisclosed milestone payments and royalties on potential future sales.

Ranibizumab is FDA-approved to treat neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion.

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