Roche, Polyphor in deal to combat “superbugs”


Swiss pharma company Roche is to pay up to 500 million in Swiss francs (CHF) in a new deal to combat multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections.

Roche and Polyphor have entered into an exclusive, worldwide license agreement to develop and commercialise Polyphor's investigational macrocycle antibiotic, POL7080, for patients suffering from bacterial infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This "superbug" bacterium is commonly found in hospitals and has evolved to become resistant to many antibiotic treatments.

Antimicrobial resistance represents a major threat to public health worldwide, causing approximately 25,000 deaths in the European Union each year. Plus, it costs the EU healthcare industry over €1.5 billion in expenses and productivity losses annually.

"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. 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."

Janet Hammond, Head of Infectious Diseases Discovery & Translational Area in Roche pRED.

"We are delighted about this license agreement. Roche is an ideal partner for POL7080, due to its long history of antibiotic 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 the patients as rapidly as possible."

Jean-Pierre Obrecht, CEO and co-founder of Polyphor.

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.



Related news:

Roche in $550 million deal for superbug-fighting antibiotic (Reuters)

Reference links:

Roche press release

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4 November, 2013