Basilea Pharmaceutica awarded BARDA contract

Basilea Pharmaceutica, Ltd., announced on Tuesday that it received a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop its proprietary antibiotic BAL30072.

BAL30072 is a monosulfactam antibiotic that helps overcome multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens, which can prove to be a useful treatment against biothreats. It is used for the treatment of severe infections, such as nosocomial pneumonia, which is caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, 4-traders.com reports.

The new contract has a total value of $89 million. The first $17 million will be paid out to Basilea during the contract's initial 22-month period. If the drug successfully completes all milestones, including microbiological, pre-clinical, clinical, manufacturing and regulatory testing, the contract will meet its full six-year length and Basilea will be rewarded the full contract amount.

"BAL30072 is a potent, bactericidal antibiotic covering a broad range of clinically relevant multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria," Basilea CEO Ronald Scott said, according to 4-traders.com. "The drug originated from our portfolio of exciting research compounds addressing multiple mechanisms of drug resistance. Our integrated research, development and manufacturing organization is focused on making drugs that fight resistance available to patients. Through the BARDA contract, we will move forward with the development of our innovative antibiotic BAL30072, advancing a medical countermeasure for a potential biological threat to national security and public health."

Basilea's Chief Medical Officer Professor Achim Kaufhold said BAL30072 has the potential to be a very important drug.

"Given the evidence of synergistic or additive activity of BAL30072 in combination with carbapenems and its broad coverage of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens, the drug has the potential of becoming an important treatment option for serious infections, including hospital-acquired infections due to resistant pathogens which are increasing in frequency," Kaufhold said 4-traders.com reports. "BAL30072 addresses the global concerns of antibiotic resistance and also has a potential role in biodefense, treating infections caused by potential biowarfare agents."