Basilea's lisavanbulin is a promising therapy for brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme), one of the most challenging and difficult to treat cancers.
We published a research note today outlining the importance of this drug and its opportunity in a disease with a poor prognosis, few treatment options and limited development success.
Lisavanbulin is in a class of chemotherapies known as microtubule targeting agents. Microtubules are involved in cell division, and inhibiting their activity can lead to cell death. A drug's ability to inhibit microtubules in cancer cells can reduce tumour growth. Lisavanbulin, unlike many other MTAs, is a small molecule and can cross the blood-brain barrier. It can also be taken orally, making it more convenient than other injectable MTAs.
One of the most significant factors limiting the applicability of MTAs has been the development of rapid resistance. Basilea has focused on delivering a chemotherapy combining strong efficacy and reduced resistance issues. As part of this process, Basilea is examining the use of a predictive biomarker that may improve the identification of patients suitable for treatment with lisavanbulin. In the Phase 1 study, the presence of the EB1 protein in patients' tumour tissue suggested significantly improved outcomes. The use of this biomarker has the potential to reduce the risk of treatment failure.
Despite lisavanbulin's promise, it is at an early stage of development and currently sits outside our financial model and valuation for Basilea. GBM is a challenging cancer with many approaches failing to provide any real benefit, however, the use of EB1as a biomarker should increase the probability of success. The market potential for lisavanbulin could be substantial should it be relevant to a wider patient population in GBM, or if the EB1 driven approach is relevant to a broader range of cancers
We eagerly await the results of the current Phase 2 trial with an interim read-out expected in H1 2021, and we have calculated a discounted cash flow fair value of CHF 120 for Basilea.
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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.