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Forge, Basilea ink agreement to discover & develop novel antibiotics

San Diego
Friday, April 26, 2019, 16:00 Hrs  [IST]

Forge Therapeutics, Inc and Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd,  have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement to discover, develop, and commercialize novel antibiotic classes. They will apply Forge's proprietary BLACKSMITH metalloenzyme chemistry platform to develop potent and selective inhibitors against two historically difficult-to-drug, unexploited antibiotic targets.

Under the terms of the agreement, Basilea will make an upfront payment to Forge to access their BLACKSMITH platform for two targets. Forge is eligible to receive undisclosed potential development and sales milestone payments of up to US$ 167 million per target and tiered royalties upon commercialization of each antibiotic stemming from the collaboration.

"We are excited to partner with Basilea, a global leader in anti-infective research and development, to pursue novel metalloenzyme targets that have significant promise in this challenging therapeutic area," said Zachary A. Zimmerman, Ph.D., CEO of Forge. "We believe that linking our novel chemistry with Basilea's deep drug development and commercial expertise will be a powerful combination in addressing the global threat of antibacterial resistance."

"We are very much looking forward to the collaboration with Forge to develop truly innovative new antibiotics," commented Dr. Laurenz Kellenberger, chief scientific officer of Basilea. "Forge's platform complements our focused approach to discover antibiotics with new mechanisms of action that have the potential to make a difference to patients' lives."

The two targets to be explored by Forge and Basilea under the agreement are well characterized metalloenzyme targets, which are vital for a variety of biological functions in bacteria. Applying new chemistry will be critical to building potent selective inhibitors against these unexploited targets in order to have the potential to combat antibiotic resistant mutations.

Forge's platform called BLACKSMITH comprises a deep knowledge of metalloenzymes, bioinorganic and medicinal chemistry know-how, and a focused library of proprietary metal-binding fragment pharmacophores (MBPs) that provide selective & diverse starting points for novel inhibitors. Forge's strategy is to use the BLACKSMITH platform to discover new chemistry for the treatment of a broad range of diseases in areas of unmet needs with initial efforts in the area of infectious disease.


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