Forge & Basilea to discover, develop novel antibiotics

GNA NOW project takes aim at antimicrobial resistance
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ ESB Professional

Forge Therapeutics and Basilea Pharmaceutica will together discover, develop and commercialise novel antibiotic classes.

Under a research collaboration and license agreement, 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.

The agreement will see Basilea make an upfront payment to Forge to access their BLACKSMITH platform for two targets.

Forge is eligible to receive undisclosed potential development and sales milestone payments of up to $167 million per target and tiered royalties upon commercialization 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.”

The two targets to be explored by Forge and Basilea 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.