Press Release

August 11, 2021
1 min read

Molecular Partners regains global development, commercial rights to abicipar from AbbVie


Press Release

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Molecular Partners regained the global development and commercial rights to abicipar pegol from AbbVie, according to a press release.

Abicipar, an anti-VEGF DARPin protein molecule, has undergone two phase 3 studies that have shown efficacy in treating neovascular age-related macular degeneration. It is also under investigation for the treatment of diabetic macular edema.

“There remains a significant unmet medical need for patients living with [neovascular] AMD and DME, and we remain confident in abicipar’s potential to offer these patients a differentiated treatment option over existing therapies,” Patrick Amstutz, CEO of Molecular Partners, said in the release. “Our focus for this program will be determining the best path to value creation within the context of our expansive portfolio of antiviral and immuno-oncology therapies in development.”

The drug was invented by Molecular Partners and licensed to Allergan in 2011. When AbbVie completed the acquisition of Allergan in 2020, the rights to abicipar were transferred to AbbVie. In 2020, the FDA declined to approve abicipar for wet AMD due to the rate of intraocular inflammation after the drug’s administration.

A Molecular Partners committee will assess the program and determine next steps, and AbbVie will continue to evaluate other DARPin candidates as part of the companies’ “ongoing discovery alliance,” the release said.