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Regeneron and Ocular Therapeutix to collaborate in potential $315 million deal

Published on 14/10/16 at 09:53am

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Ocular Therapeutix have entered into a deal that will see them collaborate to develop a sustained release system for Eyelea in the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and other retinal diseases.  Eyelea is already approved for use in the US and across the global market, where it is co-marketed by Bayer, for treatment of numerous eye conditions.

The current method of delivery for Eyelea is through intravitreal (directly into the eye) injections every month before gradually becoming less frequent. This process means that the patient still has to have an injection every other month to continually manage eye condition. This is clearly not the most pleasant or desirable of systems of delivery hence the collaboration to deliver a system that does not require an injection.

Ocular Therapeutix is developing a proprietary sustained-release hydrogel-based drug delivery. Regeneron has the option to obtain exclusive license to use Ocular Therapeutix for development and commercialisation of systained release formulation for Eyelea and other biologics targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) for ophthalmic indications. Meanwhile, Ocular Therapeutix will retain the rights for the delivery system with all other non-VEGF treating compounds.

Under the current deal, Ocular Therapeutix will receive a payment of $10 million and will have to fund development through to Phase I testing. Regeneron will then have to take over the costing through to potential commercialisation. Ocular Therapeutix will be in like for further payments of up to $305 million depending on milestones reached.

“We have made considerable progress in developing our protein drug delivery platform at Ocular Therapeutix, so it is good to see an industry leader such as Regeneron recognizing the potential of this technology,” said Amar Sawhney, Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Ocular Therapeutix, commenting on the announcement. “We are excited to partner with Regeneron to develop a potential first-in-class sustained release protein-based anti-VEGF hydrogel injection for wet AMD, DME, RVO, and other serious retinal diseases. This sustained release formulation could have the potential to significantly reduce dosing frequency and subsequently reduce doctor visits, thus reducing the burden of care for patients, caregivers and physicians, and may decrease the likelihood of certain side effects associated with frequent intravitreal injections.”

Ben Hargreaves