Vifor Pharma enters Chinese joint venture with Fresenius Kabi

Joint venture will bring IV Iron to China to replace the wasteful blood transfusions that are the current prevailing treatment for iron deficiency anaemia

Photo as seen on company website

Vifor Pharma has entered a strategic partnership with Fresenius Kabi to create a new joint company based in China expanding its access to the second-largest pharmaceutical market in the world.

The strategic partnership also expands Swiss Vifor Pharma’s co-operation with the Fresenius Group, as Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma is an already existing joint company with Fresenius Medical Care.

Etienne Jornod, Executive Chairman at Vifor said: “Fresenius Kabi is an ideal partner, both from a commercial perspective and from a perspective of shared values. Its strong commercial presence in China is very complementary to the targeted therapeutic areas for our intravenous iron portfolio.”

The joint company will be 55% owned by Vifor Pharma and 45% by Fresenius Kabi.

Fresenius Kabi is a global health care company that specialises in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. In China the company is among the top 10 multinational pharmaceutical companies, specialising in clinical nutrition, anaesthesia and nephrology. Fresenius Kabi has about 6,000 employees and multiple manufacturing and development sites in China.

As part of the agreement, Vifor Pharma and Fresenius Kabi will together create a joint company which will focus on marketing, market access and medical affairs activities for the intravenous iron portfolio.

Fresenius Kabi will be fully responsible for the commercialisation of the intravenous iron portfolio in China, covering more than 20,000 anesthesiologists and 25,000 surgeons in more than 2,000 tier 3 hospitals to support PBM as well as working with HCPs for other indications including nephrology.

There is a high unmet medical need for Vifor’s intravenous iron products in China with the country having the world’s largest iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) population with prevalence estimated 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 Organisation (WHO), demand is outstripping supply.

The WHO instead recommends improving the clinical use of blood to reduce the number of unnecessary blood transfusions.

Both parties have agreed to not disclose financial terms of the collaboration.

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