Vifor Pharma and ChemoCentryx have expanded their existing commercialization agreement for ChemoCentryx's kidney diseases candidate avacopan (CCX168). The updated agreement gives Vifor rights to the drug in Asia, including Japan and the Middle East, and means that Vifor now has global rights to avacopan outside of the U.S. and China.

Under terms of the expanded avacopan deal, ChemoCentryx retains rights to avacopan in the U.S. and China. Vifor will pay ChemoCentryx $20 million upfront, which is in addition to the $85 million paid to ChemoCentryx as part of the original avacopan agreement, signed in May 2016.

Avacopan is an orally administered C5aR inhibitor, which is in development for treating rare renal diseases, including anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV), C3 glomerulopathy, and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. A Phase III study for the AAV indication is ongoing.

“The acquisition of global commercialization rights outside the U.S. and China demonstrates our strong belief in the potential of avacopan in a wide range of rare and orphan renal diseases,” said Gianni Zampieri, Ph.D., Vifor Pharma CEO. “This agreement further strengthens our growing partnership with ChemoCentryx and underlines our commitment to bring highly innovative therapies to patients with serious renal conditions around the world.”

Avacopan is not the only drug in the ChemoCentryx pipeline to be partnered with Vifor. In December 2016, the firms inked an agreement to develop and commercialize ChemoCentryx’s oral CCR2 inhibitor CCX140, also for renal indications. The drug has previosly completed a Phase II study in patients with diabetic kidney disease.

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