Alcon inked license and purchase option agreements with Potentia Pharmaceuticals for its Phase I treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). For an up-front payment Alcon gains a license to POT-4 in AMD and the option to investigate the compound in other ophthalmic disorders.
If specified development milestones are achieved and if Alcon elects to continue development of POT-4 in AMD, it may acquire shares of Potentia. The arrangement also calls for future payments if Alcon goes ahead with development in other indications, which will have their own clinical and regulatory milestones. The rights to the technology underlying POT-4 for application outside of retinal diseases are held by Swiss-based Apellis.
Potentia stands to earn sales-based royalties on any products that are ultimately approved and commercialized under this collaboration.
Potentia completed a Phase I trial for POT-4, a complement inhibitor, in patients with wet AMD. Investigators report only minimal and mild local adverse events related to the injection with no serious adverse events linked to the drug itself.
“There is a body of science supporting the potential for complement inhibitors in the treatment of retinal disease,” according to Sabri Markabi, M.D., Alcon's svp of R&D and CMO. POT-4 inhibits complement factor C3 and interrupts the complement activation cascade. Complement activation can lead to local inflammation in the eye that is believed to play a pivotal role in the development of AMD, Potentia explains.