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Asterand to Enter Into Exclusive License Agreement with Allergan for Pre-Clinical Compounds Focused on Diseases of the Eye

Pressmeddelande   •   Sep 08, 2008 15:53 CEST

Asterand to Receive Upfront Payment of $6.25 Million from Allergan in a Pre-Clinical Licensing Deal for Select Compounds That Could Produce Value of up to $56.0 Million in Milestone Payments, Plus Royalties

DETROIT, Sep 08, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Asterand plc (LSE: ATD), a leading global provider of human tissue and services to pharmaceutical companies engaged in drug discovery research, announces that it has entered into an exclusive licence agreement with Allergan, Inc., a global, multi-speciality healthcare company, whereby Allergan obtains the rights to further develop and commercialise a series of compounds discovered and developed by Asterand to treat conditions and diseases of the eye, such as glaucoma.

The compounds arise from Asterand's R99 development programme. They are selective, small molecule prostaglandin receptor agonists that have been shown in preclinical studies to be effective in reducing intra-ocular pressure. Allergan plans to further develop a focused list of Lead Compounds and progress these through Clinical Development.

Allergan will pay Asterand an upfront Technology Access Fee of $6.25 million. In addition, Asterand can receive success-based development and sales milestone payments that could total up to $56.0 million, plus royalties.

Martyn Coombs, Chief Executive Officer of Asterand plc said: "Asterand is delighted to have reached this agreement with Allergan. Clearly this is a very significant financial deal for Asterand. We are happy that Allergan has decided to carry our prostaglandin program forward after evaluating it under an exclusive material transfer agreement. Allergan has the expertise, reputation and resources to potentially turn these compounds into effective treatments for diseases of the eye, especially glaucoma.

"Asterand has several other promising drug discovery programmes, including further prostaglandin agonists for immuno-inflammatory diseases (COPD and psoriasis) and pre-term labour, and other interesting compounds targeted for the treatment of bone disease, cancer, and IBS. Asterand will now put increased effort into realising the value of these programmes, including seeking out-licensing opportunities with other pharmaceutical companies. Licensing these programmes allows for their continued development while we focus on our core business, further advancing drug discovery by being the pre-eminent supplier of human tissue and human tissue based services."

About Asterand plc

Asterand is a leading supplier of high quality human tissue and tissue-based services. Our comprehensive approach to human tissue and research services offers pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic companies the unique opportunity to have one company meet all of their human biomaterial needs along the continuum of drug discovery and development. Our mission is to accelerate target discovery and compound validation and enable pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to take safer and more effective drugs into the clinic.

About Allergan Inc.

Founded in 1950, Allergan, Inc., with headquarters in Irvine, California, is a multi-specialty health care company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative pharmaceuticals, biologics and medical devices that enable people to live life to its greatest potential - to see more clearly, move more freely, express themselves more fully. The Company employs more than 8,000 people worldwide and operates state-of-the-art R&D facilities and world-class manufacturing plants. In addition to its discovery-to-development research organization, Allergan has global marketing and sales capabilities with a presence in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit Allergan's Web site at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements", including the statements by Mr. Coombs, and other statements regarding research and development outcomes, efficacy, market and product potential. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from expectations and projections. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, general industry, economic and pharmaceutical market conditions; technological advances and patents attained by competitors; the ongoing viability of intellectual property; challenges inherent in the research and development and regulatory processes; challenges related to new product marketing, such as the unpredictability of market acceptance for new pharmaceutical and biologic products and/or the acceptance of new indications for such products; inconsistency of treatment results among patients; potential difficulties in manufacturing; and governmental laws and regulations affecting domestic and foreign operations. Additional information concerning these and other risk factors can be found in press releases issued by Allergan, as well as Allergan's public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under the heading "Risk Factors" in Allergan's 2007 Form 10-K and Allergan's Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2008. Copies of Allergan's press releases and additional information about Allergan are available on the World Wide Web at or you can contact the Allergan Investor Relations Department by calling 1-714-246-4636.

SOURCE: Asterand plc

Asterand plc
Martyn Coombs, Chief Executive Officer
Tel No: +44 (0) 1763 211600
Jack Davis, Chairman
Tel No: + 1 (313) 263-0960
Buchanan Communications
Lisa Baderoon / Rebecca Skye Dietrich
Tel No: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
Daniel Stewart & Company plc
Simon Leathers/Tom Jenkins
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7776 6550