Pfizer Inc and Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd , an international biopharmaceutical company specializing in the research and development of anti-infective and oncological medicines, today announced they have entered into an agreement whereby Pfizer will be granted the exclusive development and commercialization rights in China and several countries in the Asia Pacific region to CRESEMBA (isavuconazole). CRESEMBA is a novel antifungal medicine for the treatment of adult patients with diagnosed invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis1, two serious infections associated with significant morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients, such as those with advanced HIV and those with cancer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will have exclusive rights to develop, distribute and commercialize CRESEMBA in sixteen Asian Pacific countries and China (including Hong Kong and Macao). These rights do not include Japan. In addition, Pfizer will become the marketing authorization holder for the Asia Pacific Region and China. The specific financial terms of the agreement remain confidential. The agreement is subject to customary regulatory approval.
In July 2017, Pfizer completed an agreement with Basilea to obtain the exclusive commercialization rights to CRESEMBA in Europe (with the exception of the Nordic countries). Since that time, Pfizer has assumed responsibility for the commercialization of CRESEMBA in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom and successfully launched CRESEMBA in Spain with additional launches expected in 2018 and beyond.
CRESEMBA was developed in response to the urgent medical need for antifungal medicines for the treatment of invasive fungal infections, which are naturally resistant to many antifungal therapies and have become increasingly resistant to other available therapies. Today, invasive aspergillosis is the most frequently reported fungal infection in immunocompromised individuals within the Asian Pacific region.
“We are excited to extend our partnership with Basilea, a company that shares our passion and commitment to confronting the global challenges of infectious disease management,” said Suneet Varma, global president of Pfizer APAC, Greater China and Global Brands. “We believe our extensive geographic footprint in APAC and China, together with our expertise in successfully commercializing innovative medicines, will help enable us to continue to address the unmet medical needs of patients, especially in the area of anti-infectives.”
“CRESEMBA is a well differentiated drug that addresses a critical medical need in patients with invasive mold infections,” said Ronald Scott, chief executive officer of Basilea. “We are very pleased to be expanding our partnership with Pfizer to China and Asia Pacific where it has a strong commercial presence and a proven track record of successfully developing and commercializing hospital antifungals. We have now established partnerships for isavuconazole with leading pharmaceutical companies in all major markets around the world.”
About Pfizer Anti-Infectives
Today, Pfizer is a leading global provider of anti-infective medicines, offering patients access to a diverse portfolio of more than 80 products. Since its pioneering work on penicillin in the 1940s, Pfizer has been actively engaged in the research and development of innovative medicines and creation of policies and educational programs to address the evolving needs of patients and physicians in the area of infectious diseases. In December 2016, Pfizer completed the acquisition of AstraZeneca PLC’s small molecule anti-infective business, which includes both marketed agents and clinical development assets primarily outside the United States.
About invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis
Invasive fungal diseases (IFDs) are an increasingly common complication associated with high morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients such as those with advanced HIV infection and those with cancer. Rates of mortality associated with invasive fungal infections depend upon the pathogen, geographic location and underlying patient characteristics and can be as high as 80-90%. Today, there are limited treatment options available for patients diagnosed with invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis.
About CRESEMBA (isavuconazole)
CRESEMBA is an intravenous (IV) and oral azole antifungal and the active agent of the prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate. It was approved in March 2015 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients 18 years of age and older in the treatment of invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis. The European centralized marketing authorization was granted in October 2015 to isavuconazole for the treatment of adult patients with invasive aspergillosis and for the treatment of adult patients with mucormycosis for whom amphotericin B is inappropriate. Isavuconazole has orphan drug designation for the approved indications in Europe and the US. The drug is commercialized in the US by Astellas Pharma US. Outside the US and the EU, isavuconazole is not approved for commercial use. Pfizer does not have commercialization rights to CRESEMBA in the United States.
Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that address the medical challenge of increasing resistance and non-response to current treatment options in the therapeutic areas of bacterial infections, fungal infections and cancer. The company is committed to discovering, developing and commercializing innovative pharmaceutical products to meet the medical needs of patients with serious and life-threatening conditions. Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: BSLN).
Additional information can be found at Basilea’s website www.basilea.com
Steve Danehy, 212-733-1538
Ryan Crowe, 212-733-8160