IRVINE, Calif. & ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN) and Molecular Partners AG today announced that they have entered into a license agreement for MP0112, a phase II proprietary therapeutic DARPin® protein targeting VEGF under investigation for the treatment of retinal diseases.
Under the agreement, Allergan obtains exclusive global rights for MP0112 for ophthalmic indications. The parties will work together during phase IIb development and, Allergan will be responsible for phase III development and commercialization activities. Molecular Partners will receive an up-front payment of USD $45 million and is further entitled to receive additional payments of up to an aggregate of USD $375 million upon meeting certain development, regulatory and sales milestones. In addition, Molecular Partners will receive tiered double-digit royalties on any future sales of MP0112.
Scott M. Whitcup, M.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer of Allergan commented: “This agreement aligns with Allergan’s strategy to become a leader in developing new treatments for retinal disease. The goal of this program is to develop a potentially more effective treatment for diseases like neovascular age-related macular degeneration with the possibility for less frequent intravitreal injections.”
Data on MP0112 from two separate phase I/IIa trials in wet age-related macular degeneration (wetAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) were presented at the meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Fort Lauderdale, FL earlier this week (May 1-5, 2011). The studies showed that MP0112 is well tolerated and has a potentially long lasting effect on vision gain after a single injection. In the studies, for most patients in the cohorts treated with the higher dose of the investigational compound, the potential beneficial effect on visual acuity lasted for approximately 16 weeks.
Christian Zahnd, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Molecular Partners commented: “This is a transformational deal for Molecular Partners, and Allergan is the ideal partner for MP0112 to build the most value out of our lead product. Further, this agreement strengthens our ability to execute on the progression of our substantial internal systemic pipeline.”
Patrick Amstutz, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer of Molecular Partners added: “This deal validates our DARPin® platform in a clinical setting and sets the stage for additional clinical stage strategic collaborations in the near future.”
Notes to editors:
MP0112 is a DARPin®-based, small therapeutic protein, which inhibits all relevant forms of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) with high potency and selectivity. The molecule is currently under development for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). Its high efficacy has been demonstrated in various preclinical models. MP0112 has shown the potential to show significantly longer therapeutic effects in various animal models potentially leading to a drug with the need for less frequent dosing as compared to standard of care.
About Allergan, Inc. (www.allergan.com)
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 more than 9,000 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 ophthalmology, neurosciences, medical aesthetics, medical dermatology, breast aesthetics, obesity intervention and urologics, Allergan is proud to celebrate 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.
About Molecular Partners AG (www.molecularpartners.com):
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 MP0112, 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 collaborations with F. Hoffmann-la Roche, Centocor Research & Development Inc. and Bayer Schering Pharma. The company is backed by a strong syndicate of investors and holds a strong patent estate covering all DARPin® applications.
Allergan Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including, but not limited to, the statements by Drs. Whitcup, Zahnd and Amstutz and other statements regarding the development of MP0112 as well as the safety, effectiveness, approvals, adverse events and market potential of MP0112. 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 abovereferenced 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 2010 Annual Report on Form 10-K. Additional information about Allergan is available at www.allergan.com or you can contact the Allergan Investor Relations Department by calling 714-246-4636.
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For Molecular Partners:
College Hill Life Sciences
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7866 7855
Dr. Christian Zahnd, CEO
Dr. Patrick Amstutz, CBO
Tel: +41 (0) 44 755 77 00
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