Japanese based biopharma Shionogi announced this week that it had entered a definitive merger agreement with Qpex Biopharma.
Under the agreement, Brii Bio, who had an equity stake in Qpex, will secure exclusive global rights for the development and commercialization of antibiotic candidate BRII-693 (QPX9003), expanding beyond its existing rights restricted to Greater China. As part of the acquisition, all prior cost-share, milestone, and royalty payments associated with BRII-693 to Qpex will be eliminated.
BRII-693, an innovative synthetic lipopeptide being developed to treat critically ill patients with multi-drug resistant or extensively drug-resistant gram-negative bacterial infections, specifically targets carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
The deal also outlines that Brii Bio will surrender its exclusive rights to QPX7728-based products BRII-636 and BRII-672 in Greater China, thereby relieving the company of any future cost-share, milestone, and royalty obligations towards Qpex for these particular products.
As QPX7728-based program rights are returned to Qpex, Qpex will undergo a merger through acquisition by Shionogi. Upon the completion of this acquisition, Brii Bio, as a Qpex shareholder, will receive around $24 million and regain the QPX7728 product rights. There is also the possibility of contingency payments for future milestone events in the U.S.
Addressing antibiotic-resistant infections continues to be a pressing and critical healthcare challenge. Annually, over 1.2 million individuals globally die from antibiotic-resistant infections. Without intervention, analysts say that by 2050, this figure could skyrocket to 10 million deaths per year.