Polyphor receives upfront payment of CHF 35 million from Roche

04.11.2013 09:40

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Polyphor licenses investigational antibiotic POL7080 to Roche. POL7080 targets Pseudomonas species with a novel mode of action. This “superbug” bacterium is commonly found in hospitals and has evolved to become resistant to many antibiotic treatments. Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will make an upfront payment of CHF 35 million to Polyphor as well as payments upon reaching certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones, potentially up to CHF 465 million.

Polyphor Ltd, a privately held pharmaceutical company based in Basel, and Roche announced today that they have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement to develop and commercialize Polyphor’s investigational macrocycle antibiotic, POL7080, for patients suffering from bacterial infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Antimicrobial resistance represents a major threat to public health worldwide, leading to 25,000 deaths and related costs of over €1.5 billion in healthcare expenses and productivity losses in the European Union alone each year. Pseudomonas aeruginosa accounts for one in every 10 hospital-acquired infections in the US and is listed as one of the six most dangerous drug-resistant microbes. Over 15% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics and close to five percent were resistant to all five classes under surveillance.

POL7080 belongs to a new class of antibiotics that kills Pseudomonas aeruginosa by a novel mode of action. It has demonstrated clinical safety and tolerability in a Phase I clinical trial and holds promise for the treatment of serious and often life-threatening bacterial infections caused by multi-drug resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas species.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will make an upfront payment of CHF 35 million to Polyphor as well as payments upon reaching certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones, potentially up to CHF 465 million. In addition, Polyphor is entitled to receive tiered double-digit royalties on product sales. Polyphor will retain the option to co-promote an inhaled formulation of POL7080 in Europe. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory clearances including termination of the applicable Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period.

“As part of our Infectious Diseases research strategy we focus on areas of high unmet medical need, where we feel we can make the most difference for patients. We are excited to partner with Polyphor as we build a portfolio of novel antibiotics,” commented Janet Hammond, Head of Infectious Diseases Discovery & Translational Area in Roche pRED. “As the incidence of drug-resistant infections is creating an urgent demand for new therapeutic options, we look forward to adding this potentially important, targeted agent with a novel mechanism of action to our portfolio of innovative medicines.”

“We are delighted about this license agreement. Roche is an ideal partner for POL7080, due to its long history of antibiotics development coupled with its strong scientific, clinical and commercial capabilities. This agreement is also an important milestone for Polyphor, as it is a further validation of our macrocycle technologies and rewards more than 10 years of research and development efforts. We are proud that Roche is building on our discovery and clinical results to bring this urgently needed product to patients as rapidly as possible,” said Jean-Pierre Obrecht, CEO and co-founder of Polyphor.

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