Spexis announces closing of sale of preclinical antibiotics program to Basilea
| Spexis AG / Key word(s): Miscellaneous
08-Feb-2024 / 07:15 CET/CEST
Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR Allschwil, Switzerland, February 8, 2024 Basilea to pay up to CHF 2 million for a preclinical program with novel antibiotics targeting Gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains Transaction is part of Spexis’ efforts to partner or divest non-core programs and assets as the company works through its moratorium status Transaction was subject to certain closing conditions, which now have been met and which will commence payments from Basilea to Spexis Spexis AG (SIX: SPEX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on macrocycle therapeutics for rare diseases and oncology, today announced that it has closed its asset purchase agreement with Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil (SIX: BSLN) wherein Basilea has now formally become the owner of a preclinical program of antibiotics developed by Spexis from a novel class targeting Gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains.1 The transaction was subject to the approval by the Western District Court of the Canton Basel-Landschaft, which has now been obtained. As part of the completed transaction, Basilea has acquired all program compounds, including intellectual property, and is paying Spexis up to a total of CHF 2 million, which consists of an upfront payment which was now received at closing, a payment related to the near-term transfer of the assets to Basilea, which is expected by the end of February and a potential final milestone payment related to the availability of near-term external funding for the further development of the program. In addition, Basilea has assumed the rights and obligations of Spexis related to the program, including potential low single-digit percentage royalties on sales, under licensing agreements. The assets sold to Basilea are macrocyclic antibiotics developed within Spexis’ Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics (OMPTA) program which selectively disrupt the lipopolysaccharide transport bridge, an essential structure in Gram-negative bacteria. This results in a loss of the integrity of the outer cell membrane, intracellular accumulation of lipopolysaccharides and killing of the bacteria. Activity has been shown in vitro and in vivo against Enterobacteriaceae such as E. coli and K. pneumoniae, including strains resistant to beta-lactams and colistin, an antibiotic regarded as last-resort therapy. The program was funded in part by CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator)2, a global non-profit partnership dedicated to supporting early-stage antibacterial research and development to address the rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria.
Jeff Wager, MD, Chairman & CEO of Spexis, said: “We are very pleased to have finalized this transaction with Basilea as it underscores the power of our macrocycle platform as a drug discovery platform and its potential to generate products that can address significant unmet medical needs. From a corporate strategy perspective, this transaction is part of Spexis’ efforts to partner or divest non-core programs and assets as the company works towards exiting its moratorium status and will generate funds and streamline focus which we can utilize towards advancing our core programs in rare disease and oncology. ” About multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria Infections by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) are a major challenge for healthcare professionals. Due to an additional outer cell membrane compared to Gram-positive bacteria, it is more difficult for antibiotics to get into the cell. In addition, this outer membrane carries lipopolysaccharides/endotoxins which induce inflammation and play an important amplifying role in the pathogenesis of infections by GNB and are therefore considered an important virulence factor. Moreover, GNB can acquire resistance to several classes of antibiotics such as carbapenems, fluoroquinolones, tetracyclines and earlier-generation cephalosporins, making infections with GNBs particularly difficult to treat. In 2017, the World Health Organization published a list of 12 classes of priority bacterial pathogens that pose the greatest threat to human health, of which nine classes are Gram-negative.3 About Spexis Spexis (SIX: SPEX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Allschwil, Switzerland, focused on macrocycle therapeutics for rare diseases and oncology. For further information please visit: www.spexisbio.com. About Spexis’ Macrocycle Platforms Spexis possesses what we regard as some of the most distinct, highly diverse and very well characterized macrocycle libraries in the world, together with deep data on same, developed over the course of more than 25 years of research and development and significant investment. These include PEMFinder™, which is comprised of peptidomimetic macrocycles, and MACROFinder™, which are small molecule macrocycles. Each have distinct applications depending on the targets in question, which can be both extracelluar and intracellular targets. In addition to generating the specific OMPTA candidates described in this press release, these platforms have generated multiple other drug candidates in the Spexis pipeline, including murepavidin, balixafortide, lonodelestat and others. For further information please contact:
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