Since its refocus on the long-established and successful anti-infectives franchise, Basilea has successfully partnered or divested its ongoing oncology programmes. In terms of reducing R&D spending, the return of derazantinib rights to originator Merck & Co (formerly Arqule), was the most important divestment; it was in the midst of several clinical trials. As a result, Basilea is now well-placed to deliver on its financial objective of generating sustainable profitability from 2023. Given current market conditions, this is an enviable position to be in for a research-based biopharmaceutical company.
Basilea has once again delivered a highly appropriate partner for an oncology programme. The announcement this morning reports that the preclinical programme, identifying novel inhibitors of CLK kinases, has been partnered with privately held Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics Inc. (28-7), 28-7 possesses particular expertise in RNA biology and particularly its dysregulation in disease processes such as cancer. Dysregulation of alternative RNA splicing has been associated with various human diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. In cancer, it has been associated with disease progression. As CLK inhibitors have previously been shown to be able to modulate alternative splicing, Basilea's CLK kinase inhibition programme should be able to deliver small molecule drug candidates, particularly in the highly relevant hands of 28-7.
Basilea will receive a modest upfront payment of CHF 1m and potential near-term milestone payments of CHF 2m. Ultimately, should this programme come to fruition, Basilea could receive further development, regulatory and sales-based milestones of up to CHF 351m. Importantly, it has retained long-term financial participation in this programme.
2022 is undoubtedly a year of transition for Basilea. The anti-infectives franchise has solid financial underpinnings with the anti-fungal Cresemba continuing to deliver impressive sales growth. In the near term, we look forward to the regulatory filing in the key US market, for 5th generation cephalosporin antibiotic ceftobiprole for bacteraemia (SAB) and severe skin infections. Given the unmet need and limited treatment options in SAB, particularly associated with MRSA, we look forward to Basilea delivering another highly appropriate partner to ensure successful commercialisation.
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Calvine Partners LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Basilea Pharmaceutica is a client of Calvine Partners, and as such, this publication is not independent and should be considered a marketing communication under FCA Rules. None of the information contained in this publication should be considered as any form of advice.