DARPins Phase 2 Trial Results Fall Short

December 4, 2013

Back in February, I first reported on Allergan’s DARPins in my Update 23: DARPins, The Next “Game Changer” for Wet AMD. In that report, I wrote that Molecular Partners’ MPO112 (Allergan’s AGN-150998) showed promise of improving vision and having a long ocular half-life which appeared to be a vast improvement over both Lucentis and Eylea, perhaps requiring injections every 3-4 months compared to bi-monthly for Eylea and monthly for Lucentis and Avastin. (I also noted a second agreement with Molecular Partners, the licensors of the DARPin technology to Allergan, in which a combination dual action anti-VEGF/PDGF drug therapy was also be under investigation.)

Well, the first part of the promise, the longer interval injection rate for the DARPins, has fallen through. As reported by two analyst groups, Allergan presented results last Friday (November 15th) from the Phase 2 trial of AGN-150998 (anti-VEGF DARPin program) in wet AMD at the Retina Subspecialty Meeting ahead of the start AAO annual conference in New Orleans. The results supported the company’s decision several months ago, to slow down advancement of the clinical trial, in that the drug failed to meaningful delay the time to retreatment and the associated rates of inflammation were higher than were anticipated.

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