Aerie Licenses DSM’s Bioerodible Implant Technology for Ophthalmic Use for $15 Million

August 3, 2018: By Jon Swedien

AerieAerie Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $15 million to license DSM Biomedical’s implant technology and to expand the companies’ collaboration, the Durham, North Carolina, company announced July 31.

Aerie said it expects to file an investigational new drug application with the US FDA in early 2019 for a treatment candidate using its small molecule preclinical AR-13154 in tandem with DSM’s bioerodible polyesteramide polymer technology.

AR-13503 inhibits rho kinase and protein kinase C and thus has the potential to address vascular dysfunction, fibrosis, and inflammation in retinal diseases, Aerie said.

Formulated as a sustained-release implant using DSM’s technology, AR-13503 may reduce treatment burden for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME), Aerie said.

Aerie said in preclinical models of wet AMD and proliferative diabetic retinopathy, AR-13503 has shown a reduction of lesion size at levels consistent with the anti-VEGF Eylea (aflibercept). When AR-13503 is used with Eylea, further improvements in lesion size reduction have been observed.

Pending additional studies, AR-13503 and related compounds may be able to provide a new mechanism of action to treat these diseases, Aerie said.

Aerie and DSM signed a collaboration agreement in July 2017 that gave Aerie an option to license DSM’s sustained delivery technology.

Under the expanded deal, Aerie will have a worldwide exclusive license for all ophthalmic indications to DSM’s polyesteramide polymer technology for an unlimited number of compounds.

Aerie paid $6 million to DSM up front for licensing rights, and an additional $9 million will be payable to DSM through the end of 2020.

The expanded agreement also states:

— Aerie and DSM will continue collaborative research activities through 2020, including the transfer of DSM’s formulation technology to Aerie.

— Aerie will gain access to DSM’s preclinical-stage latanoprost implant with the potential for initial clinical studies in glaucoma patients in 2019.

The implant may potentially be inserted via subconjunctival or intracameral injection, using Aerie’s PRINT technology license to allow it to manufacture the implants, the company said. In October 2017, Aerie acquired the rights to Envisia Therapeutics’ PRINT technology for sustained-release products.

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