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Vifor Pharma, Fresenius Kabi create joint venture in China for i.v. iron portfolio

20 February 2020 | News

Partnership brings together Vifor Pharma’s world-class iron deficiency portfolio with Fresenius Kabi’s market-leading patient access in China

Vifor Pharma has announced a strategic partnership with Fresenius Kabi to create a new joint company based in the People’s Republic of China expanding its access to the second largest pharmaceutical market in the world. The strategic partnership also expands 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.

Fresenius Kabi is a global health care company that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. In China the company is among the top 10 multinational pharmaceutical companies, being a market leader in clinical nutrition, anesthesia and nephrology. Fresenius Kabi has about 6,000 employees and multiple manufacturing and development sites in China. Its sales network covers all cities and regions 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. The joint company will be 55% owned by Vifor Pharma and 45% by Fresenius Kabi. Fresenius Kabi will be fully responsible for the commercialization 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.

Etienne Jornod, Executive Chairman at Vifor Pharma commented: “We are delighted to announce this important strategic collaboration. 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. Bringing our global iron experience into the joint company and combining this with Fresenius Kabi’s strong commercial presence in China will give the parties an excellent position to serve the needs of patients and healthcare professionals in this large and growing market.”

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.”

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. WHO instead recommends improving the clinical use of blood to reduce the number of unnecessary blood transfusions. As a world leader in iron deficiency management, Vifor Pharma’s intravenous iron therapies offer new high quality, innovative therapeutic options to the medical community in China to allow the more effective management of patient blood and for the treatment of IDA in many other therapeutic areas. Both parties have agreed to not disclose financial terms of the collaboration.


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