License agreement for new antifungal agent
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.
Asahi Kasei Pharma has concluded a license agreement with Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd. (Basilea) of Switzerland, under which Asahi Kasei Pharma received exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Basilea’s antifungal isavuconazole in Japan. Based on this agreement, Asahi Kasei Pharma will advance the development of isavuconazole in Japan.
By acquiring rights to develop and commercialize isavuconazole as a treatment for invasive fungal infections including aspergillosis and mucormycosis, Asahi Kasei Pharma further reinforces the R&D pipeline in the field of critical/intensive care as a major area of focus.
Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd. is a subsidiary of biopharmaceutical company Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. (SIX: BSLN), headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, which develops products that address increasing resistance and non-response to current treatment options in the therapeutic areas of bacterial infections, fungal infections, and cancer. Established in 2000, Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd. performs integrated research, development, and commercial operations, and develops innovative pharmaceutical products to meet the medical needs of patients with serious and potentially life-threatening conditions.
Isavuconazole is an intravenous and oral azole antifungal and the active agent of the prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate. Isavuconazole 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 Commission granted marketing authorization in October 2015 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 is commercialized under the trade name CRESEMBA® by Basilea in certain European countries and by Astellas in the U.S. The drug was co-developed with Basilea’s licensee Astellas Pharma Inc.
About invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis
Invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis are life-threatening fungal infections that predominantly affect immunocompromised patients, such as patients with cancer.