TRENTON, N.J. (January 16, 2019) – When Dr. Marco Taglietti became Chief Executive Officer of SCYNEXIS, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCYX) in April 2015, he knew that he wanted to move the publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company from North Carolina to a hub of biotechnology activity along the Northeast Corridor. He selected Jersey City because of the Garden State’s connectivity, deep talent pool, and collaborative ecosystem.
SCYNEXIS recently realized another benefit of relocating to the state: New Jersey’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program, more commonly known as the Net Operating Loss, or NOL, Program. Earlier this month, the company announced it had received $6.7 million through the NOL Program. It plans to use the funding to bring its novel antifungal agent to market.
Jointly administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the State’s Department of Treasury’s Division of Taxation, the NOL Program enables eligible technology and life-sciences companies to sell their New Jersey net operating losses and unused research and development (R&D) tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations for cash. SCYNEXIS was one of 14 companies to participate in the NOL Program for the first time in 2018 and was among a total of 48 companies that were approved to share $60 million through the program last year.
Since moving to Jersey City from North Carolina, SCYNEXIS has more than quadrupled its staff – from six to 25. Leveraging New Jersey’s highly skilled workforce and other resources such as NOL funding, SCYNEXIS is nearing its goal of commercializing Ibrexafungerp, an oral therapy designed to treat patients with difficult-to-treat and often life-threatening hospital-based invasive fungal infections, and women with vaginal yeast infections. Buoyed by a fast-track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and successful Phase 2 clinical trials of Ibrexafungerp, SCYNEXIS is ramping up Phase 3 trials and plans to file its first New Drug Application in the second half of 2020.
“Our objective in relocating to New Jersey was to be right in the middle of the action, where we could easily connect with, and recruit, top researchers and scientists and also provide an excellent location for our employees to raise their families,” Dr. Taglietti said. “To us, moving here was an easy decision and one that has already proven beneficial. In addition, the funding we received through the NOL Program will go a long way to helping us develop these life-saving and life-enhancing medications.”
Dr. Taglietti’s familiarity with New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem goes back more than two decades. He immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1992 and spent a dozen years as Vice President of Clinical Development for Schering-Plough in Kenilworth before becoming Senior Vice President of Research & Development for Stiefel Laboratories from 2004 to 2007. He then served as Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Forest Laboratories, Inc. and as President of the Forest Research Institute until its acquisition by Actavis in 2014. This experience showed Dr. Taglietti the potential of the Garden State’s innovation ecosystem. He currently serves on BioNJ’s Board of Directors.
“New Jersey’s life sciences community has a long history of disrupting the marketplace and bringing cutting-edge therapies to patients throughout the world,” said Brian Sabina, NJEDA Senior Vice President – Office of Economic Transformation. “Entrepreneurs like Dr. Taglietti, who see the value in bringing their companies here and investing in New Jersey’s highly-talented workforce, are key to Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for reclaiming the Garden State’s role as a leader in innovation. We encourage any company considering locating or expanding in New Jersey to explore the many resources offered by the state to help them grow.”
@NewJerseyEDA spoke with Dr. Taglietti about his company’s experience in New Jersey:
What would you say is the single greatest benefit you have found in bringing your company here?
Connections, connections, connections! Connection to a large and diverse workforce, connection to Manhattan’s vibrant financial community, and connection to the world through a transportation network that includes three airports, train stations, and a subway system.
What do you consider SCYNEXIS’s biggest success to date?
We’re proud of our continued growth. We’ve hired approximately 20 people in just over three years and are still hiring and growing!
What’s on the horizon for your company?
2020 will be a transformative year for SCYNEXIS. We anticipate top-line Phase 3 data in the first half of 2020 for our lead indication – vulvovaginal candidiasis – and a potential first NDA filing in the second half of 2020 that may allow us to become a full-fledged, commercial company by 2021!