Forge and Basilea partner on antibiotic discovery

Forge Therapeutics’s platform will be used by Basilea Pharmaceutica to develop inhibitors against two historically difficult-to-drug, unexploited antibiotic targets

Forge Therapeutics and Basilea Pharmaceutica International have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement to discover, develop, and commercialise 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 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 commercialisation of each antibiotic stemming from the collaboration.

Zachary A Zimmerman, CEO of Forge, said: “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.”

Dr Laurenz Kellenberger, CSO of Basilea, concurred: “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-characterised 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.

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