Pfizer announced on Wednesday, the acquisition of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately-owned company focused on the engineering of treatments for crippling and life-threatening diseases that affect people with weakened immune systems.
Pfizer ads novel fungal infection asset Fosmanogepix to its pipeline
Fosmanogepix (APX001), Amplyx’s lead compound, is a novel investigational asset under development for the treatment of invasive fungal infections. Invasive fungal infections affect more than 1.5 million people worldwide per year, with mortality rates ranging from 30 to 80 percent depending on the type of infection. Fosmanogepix has a revolutionary mode of action that could be used to treat fungal strains that are resistant to conventional therapy.
Antifungal resistance may critically restrict treatment choices, and since there are only three types of antifungal drugs presently available, a possible additional clinical class could be of interest to both physicians and patients. In nearly two decades, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not licensed a new therapeutic class of antifungal therapies.
Angela Lukin, Global President, Pfizer Hospital stated:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the devastating impact of infectious diseases, highlighting the continuous need for new anti-infective therapies to treat both emerging and difficult to treat bacterial, viral and fungal infections. We are deeply committed to helping patients suffering from infectious diseases, continuously seeking opportunities to build our portfolio of anti-infective therapies. We’ve already invested in assets that, if approved, could help address drug-resistant bacterial infections and critical viral infections; with this acquisition, we look forward to progressing the development of a novel anti-fungal as well.”
Fosmanogepix is presently undergoing Phase 2 clinical trials to assess the safety and effectiveness of both IV and oral versions for the treatment of patients with life-threatening invasive fungal infections caused by molds, yeasts, and uncommon molds (e.g., Aspergillus spp, Candida spp including Candida auris, Fusarium spp. and Scedosporium spp).
Further early-stage antiviral and antifungal therapies also acquired by Pfizer through the Amplyx purchase
In vitro, Fosmanogepix showed broad-spectrum activity and widespread dissemination in different tissues, including the brain, liver, kidney, and eye. Fosmanogepix, which is being developed in both IV and oral forms, may allow for the transition from IV to oral, possibly allowing patients to continue their care outside of the hospital. Pfizer also acquired Amplyx’s early-stage pipeline, which contains antiviral (MAU868) and antifungal (APX2039) therapies, in addition to Fosmanogepix.
Infectious diseases cause more than 8.4 million deaths globally each year, responsible for two of the top ten causes of death according to the World Health Organization. Pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites cause infections, which may be contracted in the community or in a healthcare setting.
Pfizer made an initial equity investment in Amplyx in December 2019 as part of the company’s Series C funding. Pfizer was part of a world-class consortium of biotech investors at the time, which included 3×5 Partners, Adage Capital Management, Arix Bioscience, BioMed Ventures, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Pappas Capital, RiverVest Venture Partners, and Sofinnov. The acquisition’s financial terms were not disclosed.
Pfizer Inc.’s legal advisor was DLA Piper LLP (US), while Amplyx’s legal advisor was Cooley LLP, as Evercore served as his financial advisor.