Series C financing to fund Phase II clinical trials of APX001, a novel antifungal agent to treat life-threatening invasive infections
LONDON, 2 August, 2017: Arix Bioscience plc (LSE: ARIX) (“Arix Bioscience” or “Arix”), a global healthcare and life science company supporting medical innovation, today announces that it has acquired an interest in Amplyx Pharmaceuticals (“Amplyx”) as part of an oversubscribed $67 million Series C financing round. San Diego-based Amplyx is focused on developing novel, broad-spectrum antifungal agents for the treatment of life-threatening fungal infections.
Arix Bioscience participated alongside new investors Sofinnova Venture Partners, which led the round, Lundbeckfonden Ventures and Pappas Ventures, as well as existing investors New Enterprise Associates, RiverVest Venture Partners, 3x5 RiverVest II, and BioMed Ventures. Mark Chin of Arix Bioscience will join Amplyx’s Board as an Observer.
Proceeds of the financing will be used to advance the development of Amplyx’s lead candidate APX001 into Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of invasive candidiasis, aspergillosis, and rare molds, including Fusarium, Scedosporium, and fungi from the Mucorales order.
APX001 has demonstrated broad-spectrum activity against infections caused by common species of Candida and Aspergillus, including species that are intrinsically resistant to existing antifungal drugs, as well as activity against rare, hard-to-treat molds and fungi. Patients with compromised immune systems due to chemotherapy or other immune-compromising medical treatments are susceptible to these potentially deadly fungal infections, and there are over 600,000 cases of invasive and potentially life-threatening fungal infections due to Candida, Aspergillus, and rare molds annually worldwide.
Amplyx has completed Phase I clinical trials for both IV and oral formulations of APX001 to address the need for hospital administration as well as continued dosage after hospital discharge. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to APX001 and has also designated APX001 as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) for the treatment of multiple fungal infections.
Amplyx is led by a group of drug development veterans with deep infectious disease expertise. Ciara Kennedy, Ph.D., serves as president and CEO, and she was previously chief operating officer at Lumena Pharmaceuticals where she led clinical development programs resulting in its acquisition by Shire. Executive chairman Mike Grey was previously the president and CEO of Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), Auspex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Teva), SGX Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Eli Lilly), and Trega Biosciences (acquired by Lion Bioscience) and was recently chairman of Ziarco Pharma (acquired by Novartis).
Joe Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Arix Bioscience plc, commented: “Invasive, life-threatening fungal infections present a serious unmet medical need, particularly for patients with compromised immune function, as the number of therapeutic options is quite limited. There have been relatively few recent advances in this area, and many existing agents are difficult to use, poorly tolerated or ineffective due to the rise of drug-resistant strains. The novel treatment that Amplyx is developing is potentially transformative, and we are pleased to support its continued development by a proven management team, alongside an experienced group of co-investors.”
About Arix Bioscience plc
Arix Bioscience plc is a global healthcare and life science company supporting medical innovation. Headquartered in London and with an office in New York, Arix Bioscience sources, finances and builds world class healthcare and life science businesses addressing medical innovation at all stages of development. Operations are supported by privileged access to breakthrough academic science and strategic relationships with leading research accelerators and global pharmaceutical companies.
Arix Bioscience plc is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
About Amplyx Pharmaceuticals
Amplyx Pharmaceuticals is developing novel, broad-spectrum antifungal agents for the treatment of life-threatening fungal infections. Amplyx has raised $118.5 million in venture capital and secured more than $10 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health to support its drug discovery and development efforts. Other key executives include chief medical officer Mike Hodges, M.D., and chief scientific officer Karen Joy Shaw, Ph.D. Mike was previously at Pfizer where he was the development team leader for Vfend®, the gold standard therapy for invasive aspergillosis. He also worked on the Eraxis® and Diflucan® antifungal programs. Karen was previously senior vice president of biology at Trius Therapeutics where she led the microbiology work supporting the approval of Sivextro®. She also served as team leader for infectious diseases at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development. For more information, please visit www.amplyx.com.
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