Swiss drug manufacturer Roche has acquired the rights to an eye disease drug still in its experimental stages, as well as a bit of technology from US biotech Eleven Biotherapeutics. The deal between the two firms is estimated to be worth ₤188 million.
The drug purchased by Roche, EBI-031, is a humanized monoclonal antibody. Its purpose is to bind IL-6, as well as inhibit all forms of IL-6 cytokine signaling. At the moment, it is being developed as a potential form of treatment for certain eye diseases, such as diabetic macular edema and uveitis.
The drug is administered intravitreally, injected directly into the eye, and was designed using Eleven’s AMP-Rx protein engineering platform.
In exchange for the rights for EBI-031, eleven agreed to pay ₤5.2 million up front, with planned future payments of up to $182.8 million as specific milestones are met. Royalties for net sales of potential future products were also included in the deal.
Should things continue according to plan, and the drug’s IND becomes effective before the 15th of September, the first milestone payment will equal ₤15.7 million, but only ₤13.9 million if it happens after.