More than 1.5 million cases of invasive fungal infections occur worldwide each year, with mortality rates as high as 30-80% across infection types(1). Fosmanogepix has a novel mechanism of action with the potential to target fungal strains resistant to standard of care therapy. As there are only three classes of antifungal medications currently available, antifungal resistance can severely limit treatment options; a potential new therapeutic class may therefore be of importance for both physicians and patients(2). There has been no novel therapeutic class of antifungal therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in nearly 20 years.
"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," said Angela Lukin, Global President, Pfizer Hospital. "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 currently in Phase 2 clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of both intravenous (IV) and oral formulations for the treatment of patients with life-threatening invasive fungal infections caused by molds, yeasts and rare molds (e.g., Aspergillus spp, Candida spp including Candida auris, Fusarium spp. and Scedosporium spp). Fosmanogepix has demonstrated broad-spectrum activity in-vitro and has shown wide distribution to various tissues including the brain, lung, kidney and eye. With both IV and oral formulations in development, Fosmanogepix may allow for the transition from IV to oral, thus potentially enabling, for the benefit of patients, the continuation of treatment outside the hospital.
In addition to Fosmanogepix, with this acquisition, Pfizer has secured ownership of Amplyx's early-stage pipeline that includes potential antiviral (MAU868) and antifungal (APX2039) therapies.
Globally, infectious diseases are responsible for more than 8.4 million deaths annually*(3), accounting for two of the World Health Organization's top ten causes of death worldwide(4). Infections are caused by different types of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, and can be acquired in the community or in a hospital or healthcare setting.
The acquisition of Amplyx follows an initial equity investment by Pfizer in December 2019 as part of Amplyx’s Series C financing. At that time, Pfizer joined a world class group of biotechnology investors that included 3×5 Partners, Adage Capital Management, Arix Bioscience, BioMed Ventures, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Pappas Capital, RiverVest Venture Partners and Sofinnova Investments.
Financial terms of this acquisition were not disclosed.
DLA Piper LLP (US) served as Pfizer Inc.'s legal advisor for the transaction, while Cooley LLP served as Amplyx's legal advisor and Evercore as its financial advisor.
About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients' LivesAt Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.
* Excludes deaths attributed to COVID-19.
1. Bongomin F et al J. Fungi 2017, 3, 57. Global and Multi-National Prevalence of Fungal Diseases-Estimate Precision. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29371573/ Accessed April 2021.
2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Antifungal Resistance. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/antifungal-resistance.html. Accessed April 2021.
3. Global Burden of Disease Tool [Data set], University of Washington, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Global Health Data Exchange, 2020. Available at: http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool. Accessed April 2021.
4. World Health Organization. Top 10 Causes of Death. Available at: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death. Accessed April 2021.