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. Preclinical and clinical data from Tracon's 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 (wet AMD).
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 TRC105 in ophthalmology. 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.
"TRC105 has the potential to help patients suffering from serious and debilitating eye diseases who do not benefit from current treatment," said Charles Theuer, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Tracon. "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."
"Santen is committed to delivering novel medicines for the treatment of high unmet need ophthalmic conditions on a global basis. Currently, treatment options for retinal disease, including wet AMD are limited and, thus, Santen is pleased to gain access to novel compounds such as TRC105, so that Santen can contribute to improving the quality of life of patients suffering from retinal disease such as wet AMD," 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.