Amplyx Adds Cash from Pfizer, Adage as Funding Round Tops $90M

Xconomy San Diego — 

Amplyx Pharmaceuticals has completed enrollment in one mid-stage trial of its lead drug candidate, a new kind of antifungal treatment, and has finished treating the first patients in two more such studies.

Now the San Diego-based company has added $53 million to a round of funding it first closed in 2017, money that it plans to put toward continued evaluation of the investigational antifungal treatment, fosmanogepix.

The fresh cash, an extension of a Series C financing first announced in 2017, comes from earlier investors as well as two new backers: Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), the New York-based pharma giant, and Adage Capital Management, a so-called crossover investor, which backs both private and public companies—the former sometimes in advance of an initial public offering.

The money, which includes a future tranche of $27 million that investors pledged at the time of the 2017 financing, brings the company’s Series C total to $93 million. Since inception the company has hauled in more than $133 million in venture capital.

Amplyx is testing its antifungal in patients with infections caused by Candida, Aspergillus, and certain types of rare molds. The experimental treatment is primarily intended for people who contract such infections while hospitalized with other illnesses that have compromised the strength of their immune system. Infections caused by fungi including Candida auris (C. auris) and Aspergillus have shown resistance to existing antifungal drugs, only three kinds of which currently exist.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year added drug-resistant C. auris to its list of “urgent” threats to global public health; it considers other drug-resistant strains of Candida as “serious” threats, and has drug-resistant Aspergillus on its watch list.

Amplyx, headed by president and CEO Ciara Kennedy (pictured), is evaluating fosmanogepix as an intravenous infusion and in oral form.

In addition to moving the antifungal ahead, Amplyx says it will also plow some of the new financing into moving ahead its second clinical-stage investigational drug, MAU868, an antibody intended to treat symptoms of BK virus (BKV) infection in people who have received either a kidney or hematopoietic cell transplant.

BKV, which often infects people in childhood and then, after an initial infection, becomes latent, can later reactivate and cause disease in people whose immune systems are compromised, such as transplant patients. Amplyx’s antibody is being tested in Phase 1 studies in kidney transplant recipients with BKV-associated kidney disease and in patients who have received a bone marrow or stem cell transplant with a BKV-associated hemorrhagic cystitis, or bladder inflammation.

Sofinnova Investments led the company’s Series C extension, and other earlier investors also participated, including New Enterprise Associates, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, Arix Bioscience, Pappas Capital, RiverVest Venture Partners, 3×5 Partners, and BioMed Ventures.

Read more about the history of Amplyx in this article from 2015 about its Series B financing round.