Date: 2018-01-03

Type of information: Exercise of an option agreement

Compound: therapeutic DARPin® products including dual anti-VEGF-A/PDGF-B DARPin® MP0260, abicipar and its corresponding backups

Company: Allergan (USA) Molecular Partners (Switzerland)

Therapeutic area: Ophtalmological diseases

Type agreement: research - development - licensing - commercialisation

Action mechanism:

  • protein. Abicipar (MP0260) is a DARPin®-based, small therapeutic protein with dual activity. It inhibits with high potency and selectivity all relevant forms of the two growth factors vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-B). The molecule is currently being explored for its use in wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Its high efficacy and long intravitreal PK have been demonstrated in various preclinical models.

Disease: exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and related conditions, serious ophthalmic diseases


  • • On August 21, 2012, Allergan and Molecular Partners have significantly expanded their existing relationship by entering into two separate agreements to discover, develop, and commercialize proprietary therapeutic DARPin® products for the treatment of serious ophthalmic diseases. The first agreement is an exclusive license agreement for the design, development and commercialization 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 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 parties 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 exclusively license collaboration compounds for ophthalmology. Upon 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. Allergan and Molecular Partners are already partners. Last year 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.

Financial terms:

  • 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 up into the low double-digits for future product sales.

Latest news:

  • • On January 03, 2018. Molecular Partners announced that Allergan has exercised two options to develop and commercialize DARPin® product candidates from its 2012 discovery alliance agreement with Molecular Partners. Upon receipt of approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, Molecular Partners will grant Allergan an exclusive license to the selected DARPin® molecules for use in ophthalmology.
  • All amounts payable under these two option exercises are included in the aggregate milestone payments and the tiered royalty payments previously disclosed on July 21, 2015. Molecular Partners is entitled to certain success based development, regulatory and sales milestone payments aggregating up to $ 640 million, as well as tiered royalty payments (up to low double digit percentage range) on any future product sales. Allergan will be responsible for all future development costs.
  • • On July 21, 2015, Molecular Partners announced that Allergan has reinforced its broad commitment to the discovery, research and development of multiple DARPin-based products in ophthalmology in collaboration with Molecular Partners. The collaboration includes a multi-VEGF/PDGF DARPin currently in preclinical development and several additional discovery programs. Abicipar, a long-acting VEGF antagonist, for which Phase III development was recently initiated, was the first DARPin in the partnership. In connection with its strengthened commitment to the DARPin research and discovery alliance, Allergan has agreed to make accelerated milestone payments of $ 35 million.
  • Molecular Partners is entitled to receive additional payments and certain success?based milestone payments from Allergan in connection with abicipar, the multi-VEGF/PDGF DARPin and additional discovery programs. This includes up to more than $ 1.7 billion in aggregate development, regulatory and/or sales milestones, as well as tiered royalty payments (up to the double digit percentage range) on any future product sales. Molecular Partners also retains an option to co-fund development costs in exchange for a royalty step?up on the multi-VEGF/PDGF DARPin.

Is general: Yes