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.