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(Bloomberg) -- Basilea Pharmaceutica AG, an antiobiotic producer with a market value exceeding $1 billion, sees a chance for its drug isavuconazole to reach sales of about $1 billion if it gets regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe.

“There is a significant medical need for isavuconazole due to limited treatment options,” Chief Executive Officer Ronald Scott said in an interview today. “We don’t provide forecasts for our drug sales,” he said, adding that he sees Pfizer Inc’s treatment voriconazole as a benchmark.

“We will need to see what’s achievable, certainly it has the potential for Basilea to become a significant asset.” When asked if $1 billion in sales was achievable, he said it could be more than that or less than that.

Pfizer Inc.’s voriconazole is an antifungal treatment that generated $775 million in sales in 2013 and received initial Food and Drug Administration approval in 2002.

Scott repeated that Basilea won’t become profitable before 2016.

The remarks by Basilea’s CEO come after an advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration recommended the treatment for approval to treat two fungal infections -- aspergillosis and mucormycosis -- that predominately occur in patients with a weak immunsystem. A final decision will be made in March.

“Usually the FDA follows those recommendations,” Bob Pooler, an independent analyst at valuationLAB, said by phone.

He doesn’t have a rating on the stock and said that $1 billion in annual sales could be a possible target.

Astellas Pharma

Basilea’s partner Astellas Pharma Inc. presented the data to the FDA and intends to market the drug in the U.S.

The Basel-based company may receive up to 374 million Swiss francs ($426 million) depending on regulatory approvals in the U.S. and future sales, Scott said. So far it has received 12 million Swiss francs.

The company is also seeking approval for the drug in Europe where it expects a final decision in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Basilea received approval for an antibiotic called ceftobiprole in Europe in 2013. Scott didn’t provide sales figures saying that it is too early yet as hospitals need six to twelve months to test resistance strains.

Basilea rose 2.5 percent today, valuing the company at 1 billion francs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jan-Henrik Förster in Zurich at jforster20@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mariajose Vera at mvera1@bloomberg.net James Kraus, Jim Silver

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