Two biotech startups receive milestone payments


Biotech startups are becoming a partner of choice for many companies. Today, two biotechs Molecular Partners and Addex have entered collaborations and will receive milestone payments of $640 million and $339 million, respectively. Addex will receive an upfront payment of  $5 million.


The process of drug development requires sufficient resources especially when it comes to the financial part. As a startup company, financial support is necessary to reach targeted milestones in drug or product development. As such, through collaborations with established companies, startups can minimise financial constraints and at the same time benefit from the expertise of their partners. Two Swiss startups have signed partnerships from which milestone payments have been guaranteed. These include:

Molecular partners
Molecular Partners is a clinical-stage company developing a new class of drugs known as «DARPin therapies». Today, the company 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, Molecular Partners will grant Allergan an exclusive license to the selected DARPin molecules for use in ophthalmology. Molecular Partners and Allergan entered into a broad discovery alliance in ophthalmology in 2012 aiming to develop novel multi-DARPin molecules for diseases with high unmet medical need. This alliance broadened the initial collaboration on abicipar, which is now in phase 3 development in wet AMD.

All amounts payable under these two option exercises are included in the aggregate milestone payments and the tiered royalty payments. Molecular Partners is entitled to certain success based development, regulatory and sales milestone payments aggregating up to USD 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.

Today, the Swiss startup Addex has signed a licensing and collaboration agreement with Indivior PLC (LON: INDV) for global development and commercialization of ADX71441 for the treatment of addiction. ADX71441 is a potent, selective positive allosteric modulator (PAM) that potentiates GABA responses at the GABAB receptor. In addition, Indivior will fund a research program at Addex to discover additional GABAB PAM compounds.

Under the terms of the agreement, Addex will receive $5 million upfront, $4 million of committed research funding over the next two years, $330 million of potential development, regulatory and commercialization milestones and tiered royalties up to double-digit. Addex retains the right to select compounds from the research collaboration for certain indications outside addiction, including Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1a neuropathy.

Picture: Kitt_KS/Pixabay

(Press releases/ran)