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Evotec and Vifor announce joint venture for kidney disease treatments

Both companies will split the clinical and commercial costs equally


Evotec and Vifor Pharma have launched a joint venture focused on the research and development of nephrology therapeutics for the treatment of kidney disease.

The new partnership will see Vifor benefiting from access to external R&D capabilities to develop its own nephrology pipeline – the Swiss pharma has a strong focus on nephrology, marketing a number of treatments including Veltassa, Mircera and Velphoro.

Evotec’s proprietary PanHunter bioinformatics drug discovery platform has already attracted a number of deals with big pharma Novo NordiskSanofi and Celgene, among others.

The German biotech will gain a commercial partner in Vifor, and will out-licence all assets developed in the joint venture to the company. The finished products will be registered and commercialised by Vifor for the further expansion of its nephrology pipeline.

“We are excited to be entering into this highly complementary joint venture with Vifor Pharma. The partnership will help us maximise the potential of our early-stage target identification and candidate selection platform in nephrology by creating a joint company with one of the world leaders in nephrology clinical development and commercialisation,” said Cord Dohrmann, chief scientific officer at Evotec.

The discovery of novel nephrology therapeutics will be aided by analysis of clinical data provided by Evotec from the UK kidney biobank NURTuRE.

This will help the two companies to identify new targets for renal therapies, and will also benefit existing product portfolios already in the pipeline.

Vifor will provide the initial funding of €25m for pre-clinical development to ensure that a number of targets and candidates are progressed at the same time.

Any clinical and commercial costs for successful products are to be shared equally by both companies, including opt-out rights at each stage of the process as per a pre-determined profit share arrangement.

“The creation of the joint venture will enable us to identify new targets for renal therapies to bolster our pipeline. We will now have access to Evotec’s best-in-class drug discovery as well as pre-clinical capabilities without having to expand our own R&D infrastructure,” said Stefan Schulze, COO and president of the executive committee at Vifor.

By drawing on the unique strengths of Vifor Pharma and Evotec, this joint venture will create a powerful research platform and contribute to establish Vifor Pharma as a global leader in nephrology.”

Article by
Lucy Parsons

7th November 2019

From: Research



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