Potentia, Alcon ink AMD drug deal

Potentia Pharmaceuticals has signed a licensing and purchase agreement with eye drug company Alcon. Alcon gets a license to develop Potentia's leading drug candidate, POT-4, for the treatment of AMD. Potentia gains undisclosed upfront and milestone payments, which the Louisville Courier-Journal says could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Kentucky-based Potentia. The agreements also provide for Alcon to acquire the shares of Potentia if certain milestones are achieved and if Alcon decides to continue development of the drug. A Phase I trial for POT-4 in patients with wet AMD has already been completed.

"There is a body of science supporting the potential for complement inhibitors in the treatment of retinal disease," said Sabri Markabi, MD, Alcon's senior vice president of research and development and chief medical officer. "Although at a very early stage, Potentia has developed the first complement inhibitor for age-related macular degeneration and positioned it for Phase II trials and we look forward to carrying development forward with the goal of treating patients with AMD."

- here's the Potentia release
- read the Louisville Courier-Journal write-up