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Vifor Pharma expands ChemoCentryx partnership

Logo of the World Kidney Day, © Chinnapong/

Swiss Galenica subsidiary Vifor Pharma has licensed commercialisation rights for ChemoCentryx Inc’s complement C5a receptor (C5aR ) blocker Avacopan (CCX168) in Asia and the Middle East. The drug is currently undergoing Phase III testing in patients with rare renal diseases.

The expanded agreement gives Vifor Pharma rights to commercialise Avacopan for orphan and rare renal diseases in all markets outside the United States and China. ChemoCentryx will receive an upfront payment of US$20m in cash plus tiered double-digit royalties on potential net sales. This is in addition to the US$8m upfront paid under the original May 2016 licensing agreement.

Avacopan is being developed by ChemoCentryx for the treatment of orphan and rare renal conditions, including but not limited to anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic auto-antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). AAV is a systemic disease which most commonly presents as kidney dysfunction. AAV is currently treated with courses of non-specific immuno-suppressants (cyclophosphamide or rituximab), combined with high-dose corticosteroid administration, which is associated with significant safety issues, including premature death. Avacopan is in Phase III development for the treatment of AAV and is also in development for other orphan and rare renal diseases, including C3 glomerulopathy (C3G) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).

“The expansion of avacopan territory rights with renal care leader Vifor Pharma, and with ChemoCentryx retaining all US and China rights, expertly positions our rare renal disease portfolio for global commercialisation,” said Thomas J. Schall, President and CEO of ChemoCentryx. “The acquisition of global commercialisation rights outside the US and China demonstrates our strong belief in the potential of avacopan in a wide range of rare and orphan renal diseases,” added Gianni Zampieri, CEO of Vifor Pharma. “This agreement further strengthens our growing partnership with ChemoCentryx, and underlines our commitment to bring highly innovative therapies to patients with serious renal conditions around the world.”