Roche signs licensing agreement with Polyphor to combat multi-drug resistant infections

Makes an upfront payment of CHF35m to Polyphor in deal that could be worth up to CHF500m

Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche has signed a licensing agreement to develop and commercialise Polyphor's investigational antibiotic, POL7080, against certain hospital-acquired infections.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche could pay up to CHF500m (US$548m; €406m) to privately held Polyphor, also based in Switzerland, including an upfront payment of CHF35m and milestone payments of up to CHF465m. Polyphor is also entitled to further payments upon reaching certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones.

Polyphor will retain the option to co-promote an inhaled formulation of POL7080 in Europe.

POL7080 targets Pseudomonas species with a novel mode of action, said Roche.

It has demonstrated clinical safety and tolerability in a Phase I clinical trial and holds promise for the treatment of serious and often life-threatening bacterial infections caused by multi-drug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas species.

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

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

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