Allergan is paying Pieris $10 million up front as part of a collaboration focused on exploiting the latter’s Anticalin technology for the development of treatments for serious ocular disorders.
Under terms of the deal, which will combine the Anticalin technology with Allergan’s expertise in drug delivery and ophthalmic drug development, the companies will work together both to optimize existing lead Anticalins and design novel candidates. Allergan will have sole responsibility for all discovery, development, regulatory, and commercialization costs.
Anticalins are a novel class of biologicals derived from human lipocalins. Pieris’ technology allows the molecules to be isolated from libraries against a range of target classes. The company claims that the molecules are selective and have a high stability, which makes them amenable to depot-formulation strategies. The small size of the molecules, about 20 kDa, means that they can also be produced in micro-organisms.
Pieris has already built its own pipeline of preclinical Anticalin candidates in a range of disease fields including oncology, infectious diseases, asthma, and ophthalmology.