Allergan has signed two further agreements with Molecular Partners worth approximately $1.5bn, increasing the two companies’ alliance.

The two new agreements are focused upon the discovery, development and commercialisation of proprietary therapeutic DARPin-based medications, used to treat serious ophthalmic diseases.

Molecular Partners consider DARPins, a novel class of drugs that act as monoclonal antibodies but are cheaper to produce, to possess the potential to address considerable unmet medical needs for various diseases.

Allergan has agreed to partner Molecular Partners, with the first arrangement comprising of an exclusive license deal with the aim of discovering, developing and commercialising the experimental DARPin MP0260 for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration.

Although the companies will collaborate to develop MP0260, Allergan will assume control of the drug’s development with Molecular Partners contributing half of the development costs in exchange for royalties.

The second agreement is an exclusive discovery alliance that will see both firms collaborate to design and develop DARPins for the treatment of conditions that cause serious eye diseases, with Allergan retaining the right to exercise three options to exclusively license compounds related to ophthalmology.

Allergan will retain sole responsibility for the development, manufacture and commercialisation of the subsequent compounds, with Molecular Partners eligible for fees each time an option is taken.

As per the terms of the agreement, Molecular Partners will receive upfront payments totalling $62.5m, with the company remaining eligible for development, regulatory and sales milestones payments of up to $1.4bn.