Bayer is shelling out up to $130 million to jointly develop a novel combination therapy for eye disorders with Regeneron, and certain rights to the drug.

The firms said they will jointly develop a combination of the angiopoietin2 antibody nesvacumab and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) trap aflibercept for the treatment of serious eye diseases. 

The combo is currently being assessed in two Phase II clinical trials as a single intravitreal injection, known as REGN910-3, in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) or diabetic macular oedema.

Angiopoietins are a family of vascular growth factors discovered by researchers at Regeneron. Preclinical data shows that they act together with the VEGF family to promote the formation and maturation of blood and lymphatic vessels in the eye. 

Under the terms of the deal, Regeneron will receive a $50 million upfront payment and will share global development costs for the programme with Bayer, and is also eligible to receive up to $80 million in potential payments related to development and regulatory milestones.

In return, Bayer bags exclusive commercialisation rights to the combination product outside of the US and will share potential profits equally with Regeneron. Within the US, Regeneron retains exclusive rights and all sales profit. 

Bayer and Regeneron currently work together on the global development and commercialisation of Eylea Injection and on the global development of REGN2176-3, an intravitreal injection in Phase II clinical trials for patients with wet AMD.