Basilea Pharmaceutica has launched its antifungal medication Cresemba (isavuconazole) in France, developed to address an important medical need for patients.

In October last year, the European Commission approved Isavuconazole for the treatment of adults with invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis, for whom amphotericin B is inappropriate.

Basilea Pharmaceutica chief commercial officer David Veitch said: “We are excited to have launched Cresemba in France.

“Cresemba addresses an important medical need for these patients.”

The life-threatening fungal infections Aspergillosis and mucormycosis often affect immunocompromised patients, such as patients with cancer and after transplantation.

Invasive aspergillosis is often fatal, while Mucormycosis is a progressive invasive fungal infection that affects the nose and sinuses often with high mortality.

Hautepierre University Hospital Strasbourg department of oncology and hematology professor Raoul Herbrecht said: “There is a significant medical need in invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis.

“They can cause severe morbidity and rapid deterioration in a patient’s condition and may be associated with mortality rates approaching 100% if untreated or if effective treatment is delayed.

“There is a significant medical need in invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis.”

“Isavuconazole’s safety and tolerability profile can be beneficial for highly vulnerable patients with invasive mould infections, as for instance patients with comorbidities or the need for long-term use, or high-risk patients receiving concomitant medications such as immunosuppressants.”

Isavuconazole is an intravenous and oral azole anti-fungal approved in the US for patients aged 18 and older in the treatment of invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis.

At present, Basilea is marketing isavuconazole as Cresemba in Germany, Italy, the UK, France and Austria and its licence partner Astellas Pharma is marketing it in the US.

The European marketing authorisation is valid in all 28 European Union member states, as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Image: Histopathologic image of pulmonary invasive aspergillosis in a patient with interstitial pneumonia. Photo: courtesy of KGH.