Durham drug developer Scynexis has signed a licensing agreement with a pharmaceutical company in China giving it worldwide rights to develop and commercialize one of its compounds.
Waterstone Pharmaceutical, which has its main operations in China, will pay Scynexis and upfront fee of $1 million for SCY-635, a compound that has shown promise for treating viral infections in humans. Waterstone has the option to pay an additional $500,000 for the rights to two other compounds.
Scynexis may also receive a milestone payment of $4 million upon the first registration of a product, as well as royalties based on future sales.
Scynexis, which spun out of Aventis in 2000, does not have a drug on the market. It's most promising drug candidate is SCY-078, a treatment for serious and life-threatening fungal infections. That experimental drug stemmed from a collaboration between Scynexis and pharmaceutical giant Merck. Last year Merck returned the development and commercialization rights to Scynexis.
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Scynexis raised $40 million from an initial public offering in early May after deducting fees and expenses and paying off a $15 million credit line.
The company's shares were at $8.68, up 8 cents, in mid-morning trading. Scynexis stock began trading at $10 in May.