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Allergan and Molecular Partners have entered into two separate agreements to discover, develop, and commercialise DARPin products for the treatment of serious ophthalmic diseases.

The first agreement focuses on the development and commercialisation of a potent dual anti-VEGF-A/PDGF-B DARPin (MP0260) and its corresponding backups for the treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and related conditions.

Under the second agreement, the companies will collaborate to design and develop DARPins against selected targets that are implicated in causing serious diseases of the eye.

Allergan chief scientific officer and research and development executive vice president Dr Scott Whitcup said; "We look forward to further developing a novel therapy that blocks both VEGF and PDGF, as a potential way to improve vision in patients with wet AMD."

As a part of the first licensing agreement, the companies will focus on developing 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.

During the research phase of the second agreement, Allergan has the right to exercise three options to exclusively license collaboration compounds for ophthalmology and will be responsible for all downstream development, manufacturing, and commercialisation activities.

Molecular Partners chief executive officer Dr Christian Zahnd said Allergan is the ideal partner to help develop DARPin-based drug candidates for the treatment of retinal and other severe ocular diseases.

"This significant expansion of our agreement together with the fast progress in the ongoing phase IIb development of AGN-150998 / MP0112 is a great validation of the DARPin approach," Zahnd said.

Image: The global partnership between Allergan and Molecular Partners will develop novel products for eye diseases. Photo: Courtesy of Coolcaesar