Allergan has acquired Topokine Therapeutics for $85 million upfront in a deal that expands the buyer’s cosmetic drugs pipeline with Topokine’s Phase IIb/III candidate XAF5, a potential first-in-class topical treatment for steatoblepharon, or bags under the eyes.

In addition to the $85 million upfront, Allergan agreed to pay additional undisclosed money tied to achieving development and sales milestones for XAF5 under the deal, announced yesterday.

XAF5 is the lead product candidate of Topokine, which specializes in developing topical medicines for reducing subcutaneous fat. The company launched its Phase IIb/III trial of XAF5, called XOPH5-OINT-3, in January, after reporting promising results in the Phase II XOPH5-OINT-2 study.

XAF5 met the Phase II study’s primary endpoint by achieving statistically significant and clinically meaningful reductions in undereye bags—a condition for which no therapies are now available. Applied to the lower eyelids once nightly, XAF5 is designed to work by penetrating the skin and acting on fat cells to shrink bags under the eyes.

“The acquisition of Topokine and its XAF5 technology adds an innovative technology to Allergan's industry leading mid-to-late stage pipeline of more than 70 programs and bolsters our leadership in medical aesthetics,” David Nicholson, evp and president, global brands research & development at Allergan, said in a statement.

Allergan’s specialties include aesthetics and dermatology—the company’s best-selling product is Botox®, which generated $1.976 billion in net revenues last year—as well as anti-infectives, eye care, gastroenterology, neuroscience, urology, and women’s health.

Allergan had hoped to combine those strengths with Pfizer’s therapeutic areas of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, immunology and inflammation, neuroscience and pain, oncology, rare diseases, and vaccines. The companies announced a $160 billion merger—the largest-ever among drug developers—last November, but terminated the deal April 6, 2 days after the Obama administration issued new rules designed to discourage the deal and other tax-slicing “inversion” mergers.

“Allergan is a leader in medical and facial aesthetics, with unparalleled commercial and development expertise in the medical aesthetics community and a laser-focus on innovation. These characteristics make Allergan ideally suited to continue the successful development and maximize the potential commercialization of XAF5,” added Murat Kalayoglu, M.D., Ph.D., Topokine's CEO and a board-certified ophthalmologist.

Based in Boston, the privately held Topokine is also developing TAT4 gel, which is in Phase II development for removal of smile and laugh lines and Phase I for other undisclosed indications. Topokine has attracted investors that include Schooner Capital.

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