April 09, 2024

Basilea awarded CARB-X grant to develop recently acquired novel class of antibiotics



Allschwil, Switzerland, April 09, 2024

Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil (SIX: BSLN), a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to meeting the needs of patients with severe bacterial and fungal infections, announced today that it has been awarded a grant from CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), a global non-profit partnership dedicated to supporting the early development of antibacterial products. The grant award is to support initial preclinical activities on the antibiotics program recently acquired from Spexis. The initial funding of up to USD 0.9 million will support the work until candidate nomination in the second half of 2024. Basilea could receive additional funding from CARB-X, to continue preclinical and early clinical development of the antibiotics program, if the project achieves certain milestones.

Dr. Laurenz Kellenberger, Chief Scientific Officer of Basilea, said: "We are delighted by CARB-X’s commitment to fund the development of these promising, first-in-class antibiotics, which have the potential to address an unmet medical need in the hospital-based treatment of severe infections, caused by Gram-negative bacteria. We look forward to working with CARB-X to bring our new antibiotics to patients."

The program comprises antibiotics targeting LptA, which is part of the lipopolysaccharide transport bridge, an essential structure in Gram-negative bacteria. The molecules belong to one of the very few novel classes of antibiotics in development. Potent and rapid bactericidal activity has been shown in vitro and in vivo against Gram-negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, such as E. coli and K. pneumoniae, including strains resistant to beta-lactams and colistin, an antibiotic regarded as last-resort therapy.1 Enterobacteriaceae have been highlighted by the World Health Organization as priority pathogens, against which new antibiotics are urgently needed.2

CARB-X’s funding for this project is provided in part with federal funds from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority; Antibacterials branch; under agreement number 75A50122C00028; and by awards from Wellcome (WT224842) and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of CARB-X or any of its funders.

About CARB-X

CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) is a global non-profit partnership dedicated to supporting early-stage antibacterial research and development to address the rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X supports innovative therapeutics, preventatives and rapid diagnostics. CARB-X is led by Boston University and funded by a consortium of governments and foundations. CARB-X funds only projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistant Threats list, or the Priority Bacterial Pathogens list published by the WHO, with a priority on those pathogens deemed Serious or Urgent on the CDC list or Critical or High on the WHO list.
carb-x.org/ | X (formerly Twitter) @CARB_X

About Basilea

Basilea is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company founded in 2000 and headquartered in Switzerland. We are committed to discovering, developing and commercializing innovative drugs to meet the needs of patients with severe bacterial and fungal infections. We have successfully launched two hospital brands, Cresemba for the treatment of invasive fungal infections and Zevtera for the treatment of bacterial infections. In addition, we have preclinical and clinical anti-infective assets in our portfolio. Basilea is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: BSLN). Please visit basilea.com.


This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements, such as "believe", "assume", "expect", "forecast", "project", "may", "could", "might", "will" or similar expressions concerning Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil and its business, including with respect to the progress, timing and completion of research, development and clinical studies for product candidates. Such statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, Allschwil is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For further information, please contact:

Peer Nils Schröder, PhD

Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
Basilea Pharmaceutica International Ltd, Allschwil
Hegenheimermattweg 167b
4123 Allschwil
Phone+41 61 606 1102

This press release can be downloaded from www.basilea.com.


  1. M. Schuster, E. Brabet, K. K. Oi et al. Peptidomimetic antibiotics disrupt the lipopolysaccharide transport bridge of drug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Science Advances 2023 (9), eadg3683
  2. www.who.int/news/item/27-02-2017-who-publishes-list-of-bacteria-for-which-new-antibiotics-are-urgently-needed (Accessed: April 08, 2024)

Press release (PDF)