Allergan, Molecular Partners in $1.4 Billion Alliance

The first agreement is to develep a treatment for age-related macular degeneration, and the second agreement is for the development of similar compounds that could treat other ophthalmic diseases.

U.S.-based Allergan and Switzerland's Molecular Partner said Tuesday they have formed an exclusive alliance to develop and market eye disease treatments worth up to $1.4 billion.

In addition to $62.5 million in upfront payments, Molecular Partners "is eligible to receive additional success-based payments, including up to $1.4 billion" for meeting development, regulatory and sales goals, as well as royalties on sales, the companies said.

A first agreement is for cooperation on developing a treatment for age-related macular degeneration, a common cause of vision loss.

A second agreement is for the development of similar compounds that could treat other ophthalmic diseases.

Allergan will have three options to exclusively license compounds developed out of their collaboration, paying Molecular Partners a fee and taking over further development and marketing.

Zurich-based Molecular Partners is a privately-owned biotech company focusing on the research, development and commercialization of small proteins called DARPins.

Allergan, the maker of the popular anti-wrinkle treatment Botox, has more than 10,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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