GSK and SCYNEXIS enter into exclusive agreement to commercialise and further develop novel, first-in-class medicine to treat fungal infection

GSK and SCYNEXIS have entered into an exclusive licence agreement for Brexafemme (ibrexafungerp tablets), a US FDA approved, first-in-class antifungal for the treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) and for reduction in the incidence of recurrent VVC (RVVC).

This exclusive licence agreement gives GSK rights to commercialise Brexafemme for VVC and RVVC while continuing to develop ibrexafungerp, which is in phase III clinical trials for the potential treatment of invasive candidiasis (IC), a life-threatening fungal infection.

Infectious diseases and HIV represent around two-thirds of GSK’s pipeline. Brexafemme complements GSK’s first or best-in-class portfolio alongside late-stage antibiotics gepotidacin, potentially the first novel antibiotic for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (uUTI) in over 20 years, and tebipenem, a potential new treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI).

Luke Miels, chief commercial officer, GSK, said: “The challenge of antimicrobial resistance includes increasing rates of multi-drug resistant fungal infections. Brexafemme is a novel, approved antifungal medicine with a broad spectrum of activity against existing and emerging resistant strains of fungi. In addition, the transaction consolidates GSK’s synergistic portfolio of innovative late-stage antibiotics.”

VVC affects up to 75% of women at least once, with 40-45% having two or more episodes. Brexafemme has a distinct mechanism of action whereby it kills the fungus, as opposed to some antifungals which inhibit fungal growth. It is the only oral antifungal US FDA-approved treatment for VVC and reduction of RVVC. With rates of resistance to other antifungal treatments rising, Brexafemme addresses a clear unmet need for new oral treatments.

David Angulo, M.D., president and Chief Executive Officer of SCYNEXIS, said: “This agreement represents a major milestone for SCYNEXIS, maximising Brexafemme’s commercial potential in VVC and further validating our vision of the critical role for this first-in-class antifungal in invasive infections. We are thrilled to partner with GSK on this high-potential asset and will continue progressing ibrexafungerp’s phase III programme in invasive candidiasis (IC).”

IC is a life-threatening infection that affects the blood or internal organs. There are around 750,000 cases of IC every year worldwide. In the US, it is one of the most common causes of bloodstream infections in hospitalised patients and can lead to more extended hospital stays and higher associated costs.

Under the terms of the agreement, GSK will make an upfront payment to SCYNEXIS of $90 million, plus additional potential milestone-based payments totalling $503 million.

GSK will pay up to $245.5 million if specific development, regulatory, and commercial milestones associated with the IC indication are successfully completed. A further $15 million milestone will be paid upon successful US FDA approval of an additional indication.

GSK will pay sales-related milestone payments based on achieving a certain commercial performance of up to $242.5 million, and mid-single digit to mid-teen digit tiered royalties on the totality of sales across all indications (in both cases with the top tier based on achieving net sales greater than $1 billion).

GSK will also receive an exclusive licence to develop ibrexafungerp and commercialise Brexafemme in all countries except the greater China region and certain other countries already out-licensed by SCYNEXIS to third parties. Under the licence agreement, SCYNEXIS will continue executing the phase III programme for IC and other ongoing trials.

SCYNEXIS retains rights to all other assets derived from enfumafungin. As part of this exclusive licence agreement, GSK has been granted a right of first negotiation to these compounds.

This agreement is conditional upon customary conditions including review by the appropriate regulatory agencies under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

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