Genaera Corporation Announces Licensing of Exclusive Rights to Pexiganan, a Novel Anti-Infective Drug Candidate, by Macrochem Corporation
Supports Genaera's Strategic Focus on Core Programs in Obesity and Asthma
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Oct. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Genaera Corporation (Nasdaq: GENR) today announced that MacroChem Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: MACM) has exercised the July 2007 option to acquire from Genaera the exclusive worldwide license rights for use of pexiganan as a drug. Pexiganan is a novel, small peptide anti-infective originally discovered by Genaera scientists which was developed for the treatment of patients with infected diabetic foot ulcers.
Under the terms of the license agreement, MacroChem has agreed to pay Genaera an initial fee of $1 million dollars in several installments through February 1, 2008. The terms of the agreement also include $7 million dollars in milestone payments to Genaera upon the achievement of clinical milestones including the start of phase 3 clinical trials and regulatory approval. The agreement further includes sales-based milestones of up to $35 million dollars, and 10% royalty payments on net sales. In addition, MacroChem will assume all clinical development, manufacturing and regulatory activities for pexiganan.
'We are pleased to enter into this agreement with MacroChem for the therapeutic rights to pexiganan. We believe pexiganan has significant potential to treat infected diabetic foot ulcers and that MacroChem, with its complementary pipeline and focus, is an excellent partner to move pexiganan forward to commercialization,' stated Dr. Henry Wolfe, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.
'Out-licensing of pexiganan is an important first step in the execution of Genaera's strategy to divest our non-core assets, which also include squalamine and LOMUCIN(TM), while we aggressively continue to focus our efforts and resources on advancing MSI-1436 (trodusquemine) through the clinic for the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes,' stated Jack Armstrong, President and Chief Executive Officer. 'We are pleased to have forged the MacroChem partnership for pexiganan and believe it will result in the drug candidate progressing toward approval, which would benefit both companies. Added to our partnership with MedImmune/Astra Zeneca for the anti-IL-9 antibody (MEDI-528), which is already in multiple phase 2 trials, the MacroChem license provides Genaera with two excellent partnerships and opportunities for the future. Our goal is to achieve the same excellent level of cooperation and communication with MacroChem that characterizes our current relationship with MedImmune.'
Pexiganan is a 22-amino acid, linear peptide which is formulated as a cream and has a novel mechanism of action based on its ability to selectively disrupt the integrity of bacterial cell membranes. In addition, it has antimicrobial activity against both Gram positive and Gram negative organisms that commonly infect skin and soft tissue. Pexiganan is also effective against methycillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and has a low potential for induction of resistance and no cross-resistance with existing therapeutic antibiotics.