Regeneron and Bayer join forces to develop new combination therapy for eye diseases

Regeneron could potentially receive up to US$130m in upfront and milestone payments

Regeneron and Bayer will jointly develop a combination therapy for the treatment of eye diseases through a new collaboration.

The new deal will combine Regeneron's angiopoietin2 (Ang2) antibody nesvacumab and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) trap aflibercept.

Two separate Phase 2 clinical studies are evaluating the combination therapy as a co-formulated single intravitreal injection in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration or diabetic macular edema.

Under the terms of the agreement, Regeneron could receive up to US$130m, which combines a $50m upfront payment and potential development and regulatory milestones of $80m.

Bayer will have exclusive commercialisation rights to the combination product outside the US and will share potential profits equally with Regeneron. Within the US, Regeneron retains exclusive commercialisation rights and will retain all profits from US sales.

This new agreement reflects our shared commitment to being leaders in ophthalmology

Discovered by scientists at Regeneron, angiopoietins are a family of vascular growth factors. Preclinical data demonstrates that angiopoietins act together with the VEGF family to promote the formation and maturation of blood and lymphatic vessels in the eye. Ang2 and VEGF together therefore have the potential to influence the pathological development of new blood vessels and the permeability of blood vessel walls in certain diseases of the eye.

George Yancopoulos, Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron and President of Regeneron Laboratories, said: 'This new agreement reflects our shared commitment to being leaders in ophthalmology and to improving anatomical and visual outcomes for patients with retinal eye diseases.'

Joerg Moeller, member of the Executive Committee of Bayer's Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Development, added: 'Inhibiting the Angiopoietin 2 pathway is a promising new approach for a combination therapy, and we are looking forward to working on it together with Regeneron.'

The firms are already collaborating on the global development and commercialisation of EYLEA (aflibercept) Injection and REGN2176-3, the Platelet Derived Growth Factor Receptor Beta (PDGFR-beta) antibody rinucumab co-formulated in a single intravitreal injection with aflibercept, which is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration.

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