Asterand could earn $56 million in in success-based fees.

Allergan has bought Asterand’s preclinical program of compounds for the treatment of eye diseases for $6.25 million. The agreement calls for $56 million in  milestones related to development and sales plus royalties.

Allergan will focus on identifying lead compounds from this class of selective, small molecule prostaglandin receptor agonists. Asterand points out that preclinical studies have shown these molecules to be effective in reducing intra-ocular pressure.

Asterand will focus on furthering its other preclinical projects, including looking for out-licensing opportunities, says Martyn Coombs, CEO of Asterand. The company has drug discovery programs in other prostaglandin agonists for immuno-inflammatory diseases and preterm labor as well as compounds targeted for the treatment of bone disease, cancer, and IBS, he adds.

“Licensing these programs allows for their continued development while we focus on our core business, further advancing drug discovery by being the preeminent supplier of human tissue and human tissue based services,” explains Coombs.

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