Mycovia Pharmaceuticals has partnered with Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine to develop and commercialise its investigational drug VT-1161 (otesaconazole) in China.

Under an agreement signed by the companies, the VT-1161 treatment for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC), onychomycosis and invasive fungal infection will be developed and commercialised in areas such as mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

At present, Mycovia is carrying out global Phase III trials of the drug in women with RVVC to support marketing applications in the US, the EU and Japan. VT-1161 is claimed to have fewer side effects and improved potency compared to existing treatment options.

Last year, NovaQuest Capital Management formed Mycovia to advance the drug globally.

NovaQuest capital management partner Patrick Jordan said: “In addition to the treatment of RVVC, early research suggests that VT-1161 has strong potential in the fight against other fungal infections, including azole-resistant fungal infections, which pose an increasing threat to public health in China and across the globe.

“With Hengrui’s expertise and commitment bolstering Mycovia’s passion and focus, VT-1161 is well positioned for development and commercialisation in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets.”

Under the partnership, Mycovia will receive development funding, regulatory milestones, sales milestones and royalties on the net sales of VT-1161 in China.

Hengrui Medicine board chairman Piaoyang Sun said: “This partnership with Mycovia provides us with an opportunity to better serve the antifungal medical needs for patients in China across a broad spectrum of infections, including superficial and invasive infections.”

The drug received FDA Qualified Infectious Disease Product and Fast-Track designations to support its potential as the first treatment approved by the agency for the treatment of RVVC.