Vifor forges iron drug partnership with Fresenius in China
Vifor Pharma has forged a strategic partnership with Fresenius Kabi, focusing on marketing a portfolio of iron deficiency drugs.
The partnership expands Vifor Pharma’s cooperation with Fresenius, as they have already formed a joint company, Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma.
In the new partnership Switzerland-based Vifor will work together with Fresenius to create a joint company focused on marketing, market access, and medical affairs activities for the intravenous iron portfolio.
The joint company will be 55% owned by Vifor Pharma and 45% by Fresenius Kabi. Fresenius Kabi will be fully responsible for the marketing of Vifor’s intravenous iron portfolio in China.
Further financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.
It will cover more than 20,000 anesthesiologists and 25,000 surgeons in more than 2,000 tier 3 hospitals to support patient blood management (PBM) as well as working with healthcare professionals in other indications including nephrology.
According to figures cited by the companies, China has the world’s largest iron deficiency anaemia population with prevalence estimate at 20%.
At present, one of the primary treatments of IDA is a blood transfusion. However, this is not an economical use of blood in a country where, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), demand is outstripping supply.
WHO instead recommends improving the clinical use of blood to reduce the number of unnecessary blood transfusions.
Mats Henriksson, CEO of Fresenius Kabi commented: “This collaboration with Vifor Pharma is an important step in providing a significant number of patients access to vital blood management treatment.
“Vifor Pharma has a world leading iron deficiency portfolio and combined with our strong foothold and long-term business relationships in China, this partnership will help to better serve the needs of patients and healthcare professionals across China.”
In November, Vifor joined forces with Germany biotech Evotec to create a joint venture focused on developing drugs for kidney disease.
Vifor put 25 million euros, around $28 million, into the 50:50 venture, providing the commercial platform for drugs arising from the partnership, with Evotec providing drug discovery expertise.
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