Roche has bagged access to Eleven Biotherapeutics' eye disease candidate EBI-031 in a deal worth around $270 million.

EBI-031 is a humanised monoclonal antibody that potently binds interleukin-6 (IL-6) and inhibits all known forms of IL-6 cytokine signalling, being developed for ocular diseases including diabetic macular oedema.

The US-based biopharma has granted Roche an exclusive, worldwide license to develop and commercialise EBI-031 and all other IL-6 antagonist antibody technology owned by the firm.

In return, Eleven is entitled to receive $30 million in payments from Roche, including a $7.5 million upfront payment in connection with the effectiveness of the license agreement, and a $22.5 million milestone payment based on the Investigational New Drug application for EBI-031 becoming effective.

Under the deal Eleven could receive up to an additional $240 million on achievement of certain future regulatory, development and commercialisation milestones, as well as loyalties for net sales of potential future products containing EBI-031 or other Eleven IL-6 compounds.