San Diego-based Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, which is developing antifungal agents that treat life-threatening fungal infections, has raised its Series B funding round total to $49.2 million. Joining the investor base is 3×5 Partners. In addition to the funding, the company has named Dr. Michael Hodges as chief medical officer; Dr. Karen Shaw as vice president of biology; and Dr. Elizabeth Gordon as vice president of regulatory affairs.
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Amplyx Pharmaceuticals today announced that the company has expanded its management team with the appointments of Michael Hodges, M.D., as chief medical officer; Karen Shaw, Ph.D., as vice president of biology; and Elizabeth Gordon, Ph.D., as vice president of regulatory affairs. Also, the company announced that 3×5 Partners joined the Series B financing, bringing the total raised to $49.2 million. These developments further position the company to initiate the clinical development of APX001, Amplyx’s broad-spectrum antifungal agent for treatment of life threatening fungal infections.
“We have recruited a high-powered team with deep experience in anti-infectives to help advance the development of APX001,” noted Mike Grey, president and CEO of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals. “Both Mike and Karen have previously been involved in the development of antifungals and antibiotics, and Elizabeth has in-depth understanding of the requirments for successful new drug registration.”
Dr. Hodges has 25 years of biopharmaceutical development experience in large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. While at Pfizer Inc. Dr. Hodges was the development team leader for Vfend®, the gold standard therapy for invasive aspergillosis. He also worked on the Eraxis® and Diflucan® antifungal programs. Most recently he was chief medical officer and head of drug development for Santaris Pharma A/S, that was acquired by Hoffmann-La Roche AG.
Dr. Shaw has significant expertise building and leading infectious disease drug discovery teams. She joins Amplyx from Hearts Consulting Group, where she provided consulting services to companies developing antibacterial and antifungal drugs. Prior to that, she served as senior vice president of biology at Trius Therapeutics, an antibiotic developer that was acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Gordon has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and at the FDA. Prior to joining Amplyx, she served as vice president of regulatory affairs at Shire Pharmaceuticals and held the same position at Lumena Pharmaceuticals prior to its acquisition by Shire. Dr. Gordon spent five years working at FDA and has a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of New Hampshire.
“When we are evaluating a company in which to invest capital, we are looking not just at the technology, but at the people, and you couldn’t ask for a more talented and seasoned management team for an emerging biotech company than the one that is leading Amplyx,” said Anthony Arnerich, managing director, general partner and chairman of 3X5 Partners. “I have full confidence that under the team assembled at this company, APX001 has the best shot possible at becoming the next generation antifungal treatment for patients in need.”
Mike Grey added, “The funds we added to our Series B financing will give us greater flexibility for acheiving our milestones for the APX001 program. We are now well positioned to enable clinical development of APX001 through Phase 2 in multiple life threatening fungal infections.”
APX001 is a novel small molecule with a unique mechanism of action. In preclinical studies, the compound showed broad spectrum activity against infections caused by common species of Candida and Aspergillus, as well as high potency against rare molds. Amplyx is developing both IV and oral formulations of APX001 to address the need for hospital administration, as well as continued convenient dosage after hospital discharge.
About Amplyx Pharmaceuticals
Amplyx Pharmaceuticals is developing novel, broad-spectrum antifungal agents for the treatment of life-threatening fungal infections. The company’s lead compound, APX001, is expected to enter clinical development in 2016 and has shown broad-spectrum activity in animal models of invasive fungal infection by common species of Candida and Aspergillus, as well as high potency against rare, difficult-to-treat molds. Amplyx has raised $51.5 million in venture capital and received more than $10 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health to support its drug discovery and development efforts. The company’s research operations are located at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS in San Diego, Calif.