Ludwigshafen, Germany, February 23, 2016. Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG (Phenex) today announced that the company will receive a milestone payment from Gilead Sciences, Inc. of Foster City, CA, U.S.A. for the initiation of a Phase 1 study for GS-9674, a novel, synthetic and non-steroidal FXR agonist, in non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH). In January 2015, Gilead acquired the Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR) program from Phenex, in a deal valued at 470 million US$. The FXR program is comprised of new small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of liver diseases, including NASH.
“This is a major event for us”, says Dr. Claus Kremoser, CEO of Phenex. “Apart from the revenues, this milestone is a landmark for us since it shows that we can deliver drug candidates that meet the expectations of industry leaders. We look forward to working with Gilead‘s research and development team to continue to advance the FXR program.”
Thomas Hoffmann, CFO of Phenex, adds: “The revenues from this milestone further secure our strong cash position and allow us to invest further into our own new pipeline. We have sold our two main development projects to leading pharmaceutical companies, the RORg project to Janssen, the FXR project to Gilead. Both deals yielded sufficient income to please our investors on one end and still provided years of financial runway for Phenex on the other hand. In both cases, the pharma partners elected compounds that were generated by us as development candidates. This clearly demonstrates our capabilities to identify new exciting targets early on and deliver appropriate starting points for new therapeutics.”
Phenex can expect further financial milestones up to three digit millions US$ from the GS-9674 development program.
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