Taro scraps onychomycosis drug Novexatin deal with NovaBiotics

Taro Pharmaceutical Industries said that it has scrapped its licensing agreement with Scottish biotech company NovaBiotics for Novexatin after the investigational onychomycosis drug failed to meet its objective in a clinical trial.

In May, a phase 2b study for Novexatin failed to meet its primary goal by not demonstrating superiority over the placebo, which led Taro Pharmaceutical to take the call in not continuing with the onychomycosis drug.

It was in August 2013 that NovaBiotics and Taro Pharmaceutical entered into a licensing and co-development agreement for the anti-fungal peptide treatment Novexatin.

According to NovaBiotics, Novexatin is an antifungal technology that can positively affect the onychomycosis space with the main advantage of producing results inside a short treatment period of 28 days.

Taro Pharmaceutical Industries scraps onychomycosis drug Novexatin deal with NovaBiotics
Taro Pharmaceutical Industries scraps onychomycosis drug Novexatin deal with NovaBiotics. Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/Freedigitalphotos.net.

Novexatin has been designed to be a topical treatment for onychomycosis, which is better known as fungal nail infections. The active pharmaceutical agent of Novexatin is the antifungal peptide, NP213 of NovaBiotics, which was developed particularly as a safe, fast-acting nail penetrating fungicidal molecule from its antimicrobial peptide platform.

NovaBiotics claims its onychomycosis drug Novexatin to be rapidly fiungicidal with a membranolytic mode of action that targets non-metabolising and metabolically active nail fungal pathogens. This includes dermatophyte as well as non-dermatophyte fungi associated with onychomycosis.

Prior to its phase 2b study, Novexatin was shown to be safe, well-tolerated and effective in phase I and IIa clinical studies in the treatment of toenail infections after just one month of daily application.

Novexatin or NP213 as per NovaBiotics is the first fungal nail infection treatment to address the underlying cause of the condition and also the cosmetic issues resulting from the infection, by killing the causative fungi rapidly and giving quick improvement to the nail’s looks.

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