TRACON Pharmaceuticals and Santen Pharmaceutical have entered into an exclusive agreement for the development and global commercialization of TRACON’s anti-endoglin antibodies, including TRC105, in ophthalmology.

Santen will make a $10 million upfront payment and certain milestone payments to TRACON in the development phase, and will pay commercialization milestones and tiered royalties on global sales of the product. Santen will fund 100% of all global development, and commercialization activities, including the initiation of IND-enabling studies. TRACON will continue ongoing Phase II development of TRC105 in a number of oncology indications, and will retain global rights on applications of its anti-endoglin antibody portfolio outside of ophthalmology.

According to TRACON, preclinical and clinical data from its ongoing development of TRC105 in combination with anti-VEGF products in oncology indicate inhibiting both the endoglin and VEGF pathways has the potential to show advantages over inhibiting VEGF alone in the treatment of conditions such as wet age-related macular degeneration.

“The experience TRACON has gained in the development of TRC105 in oncology, by combining TRC105 with bevacizumab and other inhibitors of the VEGF pathway, reinforces our belief that development of TRC105 in serious angiogenesis-driven eye diseases is an outstanding product development opportunity,” said Charles Theuer, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of TRACON.

“TRC105 is an antibody that inhibits a novel target, endoglin, a key mediator of resistance to VEGF inhibitor treatment in angiogenesis-driven diseases,” said Akira Kurokawa, president and CEO of Santen.

The TRC105 oncology development program includes two ongoing randomized Phase IIb studies with bevacizumab in renal cell carcinoma and glioblastoma, and combination studies with axitinib in renal cell carcinoma, with pazopanib in advanced soft tissue sarcoma and with sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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