San Diego Business Journal

Forge Therapeutics will license its platform to Basilea Pharmaceutica to create new antibiotics, it was announced April 24.

The companies will tackle two antibiotic targets, using Forge’s chemistry that aims to combat antibiotic resistant mutations.

Forge has received a mixture of private and public funding, countering the trend of biotechs and pharmaceuticals leaving the space in the face of tough economics. The San Diego company has differentiated itself by developing new classes of antibiotics, as opposed to modifications that may not be as effective against growing antibiotic resistance.

Under the April 24 deal, Forge received an undisclosed upfront payment from Basilea. For each antibiotic target, Forge is eligible for development and sales milestone payments worth $167 million, and tiered royalties on sales. That's assuming drug approval.

"We believe that linking our novel chemistry with Basilea's deep drug development and commercial expertise will be a powerful combination in addressing the global threat of antibacterial resistance,” said Forge CEO Zachary Zimmerman.

The two targets identified by Forge and Basilea are metalloenzymes, which are enzyme proteins vital for a variety of biological functions in bacteria.