NEWS | BEAM Alliance


Basilea awarded CARB-X grant to develop recently acquired novel class of antibiotics

Allschwil, Switzerland, April 09, 2024

Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil (SIX: BSLN), a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to meeting the needs of patients with severe bacterial and fungal infections, announced today that it has been awarded a grant from CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), a global non-profit partnership dedicated to supporting the early development of antibacterial products. The grant award is to support initial preclinical activities on the antibiotics program recently acquired from Spexis. The initial funding of up to USD 0.9 million will support the work until candidate nomination in the second half of 2024. Basilea could receive additional funding from CARB-X, to continue preclinical and early clinical development of the antibiotics program, if the project achieves certain milestones.

Dr. Laurenz Kellenberger, Chief Scientific Officer of Basilea, said: “We are delighted by CARB-X’s commitment to fund the development of these promising, first-in-class antibiotics, which have the potential to address an unmet medical need in the hospital-based treatment of severe infections, caused by Gram-negative bacteria. We look forward to working with CARB-X to bring our new antibiotics to patients.”

The program comprises antibiotics targeting LptA, which is part of the lipopolysaccharide transport bridge, an essential structure in Gram-negative bacteria. The molecules belong to one of the very few novel classes of antibiotics in development. Potent and rapid bactericidal activity has been shown in vitro and in vivo against Gram-negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, such as E. coli and K. pneumoniae, including strains resistant to beta-lactams and colistin, an antibiotic regarded as last-resort therapy.1 Enterobacteriaceae have been highlighted by the World Health Organization as priority pathogens, against which new antibiotics are urgently needed.2

CARB-X’s funding for this project is provided in part with federal funds from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority; Antibacterials branch; under agreement number 75A50122C00028; and by awards from Wellcome (WT224842) and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of CARB-X or any of its funders.

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