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Sep 26, 2007

Torii Buys Japanese Rights to Keryx’ Hyperphosphatemia Candidate for $100M

  • Keryx Biopharmaceuticals signed over the exclusive Japanese rights for its hyperphosphatemia drug for up to $100 million. Licensees, Japan Tobacco (JTI) and subsidiary Torii Pharmaceutical, will thus be able to develop and commercialize the compound in the country.

    The drug, an iron-based phosphate binder for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in patients with end-stage renal disease, is currently in Phase II clinical development in the U.S. as Zerenex™.

    The licensing arrangement calls for JTI and Torii to pay Keryx up to $100 million in total. This includes up to $20 million in upfront payments and near-term milestones. Upon commercialization, JTI and Torii will make royalty payments to Keryx on net sales of the drug in Japan.

    Keryx holds a worldwide license (except for the Asian Pacific Region but including Japan) to Zerenex from Panion & BF Biotech. The company says that it is considering additional sublicenses in other parts of the world.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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