SOURCE: Basilea Pharmaceutica AG

November 19, 2009 01:22 ET

Basilea presents new research data on oncology drug candidate BAL27862 at international cancer conference

BASEL, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwire - November 19, 2009) - Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. (SWISS: BSLN) presents new research data on its innovative antitumor drug candidate BAL27862 at the international conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Boston (MA). BAL27862 is a novel, intravenous and orally bioavailable small molecule. It disrupts the microtubule network, a well established intracellular target in oncology, through a unique mechanism of action. The new data suggest that BAL27862 has the potential for a distinct anticancer profile in a wide range of cancer types, including those resistant to current treatment options.

Despite progress in the development of agents with antitumor activity, cancer remains a significant challenge in healthcare. There is a continuing medical need for novel agents with new mechanisms of action that overcome drug resistance in cancer therapy.

BAL27862 - active against tumors unresponsive to standard drugs

BAL27862 is a novel, intravenous and orally bioavailable small molecule with a unique mechanism of action against microtubules, a well established intracellular target in oncology. BAL27862 targets tumor cells by disrupting the microtubule scaffold, which is essential for cell division. Preclinical activity has been shown against a broad range of tumor types as well as in tumor models known to be unresponsive to standard therapeutics, including marketed microtubule-targeting agents such as the taxanes. The properties of BAL27862 allow intravenous administration in the absence of solubilizing excipients that are known to be associated with side effects.

BAL27862 - unique mode of action

New research data presented at the international conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics reveal that BAL27862 has impressive activity against a panel of non small cell lung cancer cell lines, including patient-derived tumor cells resistant to paclitaxel, a widely-used cancer drug inhibiting microtubule break-down during cell division. A detailed analysis demonstrates a dominant effect of BAL27862 on microtubules that is clearly distinct from that seen with microtubule-targeting agents currently used in clinical practice (F. Bachmann et al., Poster C 229). Pharmacokinetic analyses demonstrate that BAL27862 is efficiently distributed to tissues in a mouse model of human cancer, with excellent tumor as well as brain penetration. Potent activity was observed against glioblastoma cell lines associated with a dramatic increase in tumor cell death (A. Schmitt-Hoffmann et al., Poster C 233). These data suggest that BAL27862 has the potential for a distinct anticancer profile and support further evaluation for the treatment of a range of tumors, including brain cancers.

Posters on BAL27862 displayed at the international conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics 2009

BAL27862: A novel anticancer agent that dissociates microtubules and creates a distinct cellular phenotype - F. Bachmann, K. Burger, J. Pohlmann, L. Kellenberger and H. Lane; Poster C 229

BAL27862: A unique microtubule-targeted agent with a potential for the treatment of human brain tumors - A. Schmitt-Hoffmann, D. Klauer, K. Gebhardt, A. Brendle, P. Fullhardt, P. Hargreaves, C. Bucher, C. Schläfle, J. Spickermann, R. Defoin, K. Burger, V. Vuong, M. Pruschy, F. Bachmann and H. Lane; Poster C 233

The conference is hosted by the American Association for Cancer Research, the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer.

About Basilea

Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SWISS: BSLN). Basilea's integrated research and development operations are currently focused on new antibacterial, antifungal and oncology agents to fight drug resistance and on the development of dermatology drugs. Basilea's products are targeted to satisfy high medical and patient needs in the hospital and specialty care setting.

The company owns a diversified portfolio including two commercialized drugs (Toctino®, ZEFTERA™ / Zevtera™) and one investigational drug (isavuconazole) in phase III clinical development. Toctino® (alitretinoin) is marketed in Denmark, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It is approved in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Alitretinoin has been recommended for approval in Italy and is under regulatory review in 15 additional European countries. Furthermore a phase III clinical trial on alitretinoin for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema is ongoing in the U.S.

Ceftobiprole is marketed in Canada under the brand name ZEFTERA™ and in Switzerland under Zevtera™. Ceftobiprole is under regulatory review in the U.S., in the EU and several other countries. The company has set up commercial organizations in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany and the UK, while it is building sales and marketing organizations in other countries to commercialize alitretinoin and to co-promote ceftobiprole, subject to approval.


This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. and its business. 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. to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained Therein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For further information, please contact:

| Media Relations             | Investor Relations             |
| Adesh Kaul                  | Barbara Zink, Ph.D.            |
| Head Public Relations &     | Head Corporate Development     |
| Corporate Communications    |                                |
| +41 61 606 1460             | +41 61 606 1233                |
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