MicuRx and Shanghai Zhangjiang Biomedical Industry Venture Capital Partner to Develop Next-generation Antibiotic MRX-I for Chinese Market

-- Joint Venture Shanghai MengKe Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Established--

HAYWARD, Calif. and SHANGHAI, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MicuRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation antibiotics, and Shanghai Zhangjiang Biomedical Industry Venture Capital today announced the establishment of Shanghai MengKe Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a joint venture formed to fund the development and commercialization of MRX-I for the Chinese market.

MRX-I is a novel, oral oxazolidinone antibiotic targeting infections due to multi-drug resistant Gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). MRX-I is differentiated from marketed antibiotics in its class by its enhanced potency against MRSA and a markedly improved safety profile. The joint venture expects to complete clinical trials and apply for marketing MRX-I in China by 2017.

"The formation of this strategic alliance between MicuRx and ZhangJiang effectively merges the exceptional science of MicuRx with substantial resources of ZhangJiang to ensure that MRX-I progresses rapidly through clinical development to commercialization in China. China is recognized as a leading growth market for pharmaceuticals," said Zhengyu Yuan, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of MicuRx Pharmaceuticals and chairman of the board of directors for Shanghai MengKe Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Yuan continued, "We believe that the successful clinical development and commercialization of MRX-I will be facilitated effectively by the depth and breadth of Zhangjiang's resources – financial, clinical and scientific -- and we look forward to a very productive and dynamic partnership. This strategic alliance will also benefit the development of MRX-I in the United States and other worldwide markets, where MicuRx maintains all rights for this new promising antibiotic."

Under the terms of the agreement, MicuRx will license all rights for development and commercialization in China to MRX-I to the joint venture. Zhangjiang Biomedical Industry Venture Capital will contribute 60 million RMB ($9.6 million), the sum required for the completion of the anticipated clinical development program through filing a New Drug Application (NDA) with the China State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).  MicuRx will retain the controlling interest of the joint venture and is responsible for managing its daily operations.  Currently, MicuRx also plans to initiate a Phase II clinical study in the United States for MRX-I in 2013.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with MicuRx to develop new antibacterial drugs capable of competing in the world market to address the growing problem of multi-drug resistant bacteria," commented Mr. Haibo Wang, head of Shanghai Source Investment Co., which is managing the investment for Zhangjiang fund. "At SSIC, we are committed to the development of promising new drugs with the potential for meeting global health needs."

MRX-I: A Potent and Safe Oxazolidinone Antibiotic
MRX-I is a next-generation oral oxazolidinone antibiotic for treating Gram-positive bacterial infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). In April 2012, MicuRx announced positive Phase I clinical results demonstrating that MRX-I is safe and well tolerated in human subjects, with no signs of myelosuppression, a major toxicity concern for most oxazolidinone agents, including linezolid. In preclinical studies, MRX-I cures in vivo infections due to Gram-positive bacteria including MRSA and VRE effectively. In addition, MRX-I exhibits 2-fold improved activity against MRSA strains as compared to linezolid.

About Shanghai Zhangjiang Biomedical Industry Venture Capital
Shanghai Zhangjiang Biomedical Industry Venture Capital was founded in September 2010 with a total investment capital of 500 million RMB. By contracting out the fund management to a professional team at Shanghai Source Investment Co., Ltd. (SSIC), it focuses on investing in pharmaceutical-related companies in Zhangjiang High Technology Park of Shanghai, China.  

About Shanghai Source Investment Co., Ltd. (SSIC)
SSIC was founded in December 2010 as an investment and management consulting service provider specializing in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Currently, SSIC is managing the investment for Shanghai Zhangjiang Biomedical Industry Venture Capital. Through capital investment and professional consulting, SSIC helps its portfolio companies to make breakthroughs at critical points in order to quickly reach the scientifically evaluable stage for acquisition and/or commercialization. SSIC will synergize the investment capital with the advanced technology of its portfolio companies and enable these companies to have the potential to be the acquisition targets or to reach the complete independence through IPO.

The principle management team of SSIC has had extensive experience in the biotechnology industry. It has brought multiple new drugs to market in the US and China. In addition, it has played a significant role in growing three start-up companies into major publicly traded companies in Canada, Hong Kong, and China. The SSIC team has more than 10 years experience at various regulatory agencies and life-science venture capital operations. With their management experience at multinational and Chinese biotechnology companies, and excellent relationships with major pharmaceutical companies, SSIC has the desire and ability to become the best partner to innovating life-science related companies in the Shanghai area.

About MicuRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
MicuRx is discovering and developing novel antibiotics to combat infections due to resistant bacteria. Positioned to capture the benefits of United States research and development expertise together with the high quality, cost-efficient discovery, preclinical and development infrastructure in China, the company has built a pipeline of discovery and development programs targeting Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens. The company has research and development facilities outside San Francisco, CA in the United States and in Shanghai, China.  MicuRx has raised $12 million in Series A venture funds from Morningside Group (http://www.morningside.com/) and Devon Park Bioventures (http://www.dpbioventures.com/).

SOURCE MicuRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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