Vifor Pharma has entered into a licence agreement with Cara Therapeutics to commercialise Korsuva (difelikefalin) to treat chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP) in the US.
In May 2018, Cara Therapeutics and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma (VFMCRP) entered into an initial agreement to develop and commercialise Korsuva to treat CKD-aP in haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients across the world, excluding the US, Japan and South Korea.
The latest deal allows selling Korsuva for non-Fresenius Medical Care clinics in the US dialysis market. Under a profit-sharing arrangement, Cara will secure 60% of profits and Vifor will receive 40%.
Vifor Pharma Group CEO Stefan Schulze said: “Vifor Pharma has a strong market position and deep expertise in the nephrology space. This agreement further strengthens our US nephrology presence. We now have commercialization rights for i.v. Korsuva in the full dialysis segment by adding all non-FMC dialysis clinics, representing approx. 66% of the US market.”
As per terms of the deal, Cara will secure an upfront payment of $100m in cash as well as an equity investment of $50m.
Cara will also secure an additional equity investment upon US regulatory approval of Korsuva, as well as milestone payments based on the achievement of commercial targets. This amount could reach up to $290m.
During the initial agreement, Cara retained full development and commercialisation rights for Korsuva to treat CKD-aP in the US except in the dialysis clinics of Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA).
VFMCRP and Cara have agreed to promote Korsuva under a profit-sharing arrangement based on net FMCNA clinic sales recorded by Cara. The deal allowed Cara to solely promote Korsuva in the US in non-Fresenius Medical Care clinics.
Cara Therapeutics president and CEO Dr Derek Chalmers said: “With an established fully dedicated nephrology sales force in the US, Vifor Pharma is an ideal commercialization partner to bring i.v. Korsuva to dialysis patients across the country.”
In May this year, Vifor Pharma announced that its hypertension and chronic kidney disease (CKD) drug Veltassa (patiromer) has met its primary endpoint in phase II Amber study.