The Medicines Company has snapped up antibiotics group Rempex in a deal potentially worth around $474 million.

The company is shelling out $140 million upfront and up to $334 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones for access to San Diego-based Rempex' promising pipeline of antibacterial drug candidates, including Carbavance.

Carbavance, which has completed Phase I dose-escalation studies, is an investigational agent combining a novel beta-lactamase inhibitor (RPX7009) with a carbapenem for intravenous treatment of hospitalised patients with serious infections. 

RPX7009 is the first of a novel class of beta-lactamase inhibitors designed by Rempex to inhibit an enzyme called KPC, the primary resistance mechanism to carbapenems. 

"Carbapenems are among the most potent and safe antibiotics, and are now regarded as one of the last lines of defense following worldwide dissemination of cephalosporin resistance," said Michael Dudley, chief scientific officer of Rempex.

"We anticipate that Carbavance will profile better than any antibiotic on the market or currently in clinical development for multi-drug resistant gram-negative infections," he stressed, highlighting its potential.

Deal assets

Other assets The Medicines Co has acquired through the deal include: Minocin IV (minocycline for Injection) in the US for resistant infections due to Acinetobacter (especially prevalent in intensive care units); IVRPX-602, a novel, improved, investigational formulation of Minocin IVRPX-602 that the firm expects to file for US approval; and a preclinical developmental program of novel investigational agents. 

Rempex has leading programmes for all three of the most common gram-negative infections - Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter - in seriously ill hospitalised patients, noted Matthew Wikler, MD, Vice President, Infectious Disease Care of The Medicines Co, explaining the attraction to the firm.