Pfizer, Basilea Partner for Antifungal DrugBy
Pfizer and Basilea Pharmaceutica, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company specializing in anti-infective and oncological medicines, have formed an agreement whereby Pfizer has been granted exclusive commercialization rights to Cresemba (isayuconazole), an antifungal drug, in Europe.
Cresemba is indicated for treating adult patients with invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis, which are two infections associated with high morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients, according to information from Pfizer.
Pfizer will have exclusive rights to distribute and commercialize Cresemba in Europe, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, where it is currently available, and will be responsible for the additional launches, predominantly in Europe, which are expected throughout 2017 and 2018. Basilea will remain the marketing authorization holder for the European Union.
Cresemba is an intravenous and oral azole antifungal and the active agent of the prodrug isavuconazonium sulfate. It was approved in March 2015 by the US Food and Drug Administration for patients 18 years of age and older in the treatment of invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis. The European centralized marketing authorization was granted in October 2015 to isavuconazole for the treatment of adult patients with invasive aspergillosis and for the treatment of adult patients with mucormycosis for whom amphotericin B is inappropriate. Basilea currently commercializes isavuconazole as Cresemba in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK. The drug is commercialized in the US by Basilea’s license partner, Astellas Pharma US. Outside the US and the EU, isavuconazole is not approved for commercial use. Pfizer does not have commercialization rights to Cresemba in the US.
In another recent move in the anti-infectives market, Pfizer completed the acquisition of AstraZeneca’s small-molecule anti-infective business in December 2016 for approximately $1.575 billion, which included marketed agents and clinical development assets primarily outside the US.