China’s Zheijiang Medicine Company (ZMC) is paying Taiwanese firm TaiGen Biotechnology $8 million up front for exclusive Chinese rights (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) to the latter’s Phase III-stage antibiotic nemonaxacin. The broad-spectrum nonfluorinated quinolone drug is in development primarily for community acquired pneumonia (CAP) and diabetic foot ulcers.
Under terms of the agreement TaiGen will complete the Phase III study that is ongoing in China against CAP, and retains full global development rights to nemonaxacin outside ZMC’s licensed territories. The firm will received additional development milestones and sales royalties. ZMC will manufacture and market the drug in China through its wholly owned subsidiary XinChang Pharmaceuticals.
“This partnership will not only set a new record for pharmaceutical licensing involving a Taiwanese and a mainland Chinese company but hopefully will also become a model for future collaborations,” remarks Ming-Chu Hsu, M.D., TaiGen’s president and CEO. “With the conclusion of the partnership in China we will actively pursue nemonoxacin licensing discussions in other territories such as the EU.”
TaiGen’s lead compound nemonoxacin has a broad spectrum of activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and atypical pathogens, including MRSA and VRSA strains. An oral formulation of the drug is undergoing Phase II development in the U.S. both for treating CAP, and diabetic foot ulcer. In addition to the ongoing Phase III trial in China evaluating oral nemonoxacin against CAP, an IV formulation is also in earlier-stage clinical development for the CAP indication.
TaiGen’s second clinical candidate burixafor (TG-0054) is a chemokine receptor antagonist in development as a stem cell mobilizer. The drug is in early clinical development for potential applications in stem cell transplantation, chemosensitization, ischemic tissue repair, and ocular neovascularization. A Phase II trial stem cell transplantation in cancer patients has been initiated.