SCYNEXIS Gains Worldwide Rights to Novel Antifungal Compound
First Oral Glucan Synthase Inhibitor Ready to Enter Phase II Trials
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC -- (Marketwired) -- 05/29/13 -- SCYNEXIS,
Inc. announced today that Merck, known as MSD outside the United
States and Canada, has decided to return to SCYNEXIS all development
and commercialization rights for the novel antifungal compound
MK-3118, an oral glucan synthase inhibitor being developed for the
treatment of systemic fungal diseases. This decision was made
following a review and prioritization of Merck's infectious disease
In 2002, SCYNEXIS and Merck announced an exclusive license and
research agreement focused on antifungal discovery and development of
treatments for invasive fungal infections such as Candida and
Aspergillus. MK-3118 is the first compound developed under the
agreement to have completed Phase I studies and be ready to enter
Phase IIb studies.
"We have enjoyed a successful collaboration with our Merck colleagues
and will continue to advance the clinical development of MK-3118, now
SCY-078, to help a growing and under-served patient population," said
Yves Ribeill, Ph.D, president and chief executive officer, SCYNEXIS.
"The addition of this anti-fungal platform to our portfolio expands
our pipeline and positions SCYNEXIS as a leading anti-infective
"Working together, we have made good progress in advancing MK-3118 to
this clinical stage," said Roger Pomerantz, senior vice president and
head, Worldwide Licensing and Knowledge Management, Merck. "Merck
continues to advance its infectious disease pipeline and remains
committed to delivering medicines in this important therapeutic
Under the terms of the agreement, SCYNEXIS will receive all rights to
MK-3118, including a transfer from Merck to SCYNEXIS of the
pre-clinical, IND and Phase I data packages. The company plans to
progress the clinical development while simultaneously evaluating new
partnership opportunities. Merck will be eligible to receive
milestones and royalties.
Data on this novel compound have been presented at the 49th and 50th
Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
(ICAAC) and published in multiple journals including the May 2012
issue of Bioorganic & Medicina
l Chemistry Letters and the November
2012 issue of the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
About SCY-078 (formerly MK-3118)
SCY-078/MK-3118 is the first oral
glucan synthase inhibitor being developed for the treatment of
systemic fungal diseases. SCY-078/MK-3118 is a semi-synthetic
derivative of the natural product enfumafungin -- a structurally
distinct class of glucan synthase inhibitors. Glucan synthase
inhibitors have been very effective in treating invasive fungal
infections in a hospital setting, but are currently only available as
an intravenous dosing option.
SCYNEXIS delivers innovative solutions to solve the
toughest problems in drug discovery and development for our
pharmaceutical, global health and life science partners. Our contract
research and development services include Integrated Pharmaceutical
Solutions, Discovery Research and Integrated Parasitology. We have
successfully delivered preclinical and clinical drug candidates to
our customers across all major therapeutic indications and have
developed our own proprietary cyclophilin inhibitor programs for the
treatment of a broad range of diseases, including HCV, HBV and
inflammation. For more information, visit www.scynexis.com.
Chief of Staff
SCYNEXIS Media Contact:
Rountree Communications, Inc.
Tel. +1 919-878-1144
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