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Vifor Pharma to spearhead development of vascular calcification field, through acquisition of Sanifit Therapeutics and Inositec AG

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Vifor Pharma has announced the acquisition of Sanifit Therapeutics, a Spanish clinical-stage cardio-renal biopharmaceutical company focused on treatments for end-stage kidney disease patients with progressive vascular calcification disorders, and Inositec AG, a Swiss company, developing first-in-class non-dialysis treatments for soft tissue and vascular calcification disorders. Through these acquisitions, Vifor Pharma will be able to serve a continuum of vascular calcification disorders at all stages of CKD.

Acquisition of Sanifit is for the continued clinical development and commercialization of SNF472, a novel, first-in-class intravenously administered inhibitor of vascular calcification, for the treatment of CUA and PAD in patients with end-stage kidney disease. There are currently no approved medicines indicated for CUA or for PAD specifically in this population. SNF472 has already been granted orphan drug designation for the treatment of CUA and PAD by the US Food and Drug Administration and for CUA by the European Medicines Agency.

Inositec’s novel asset INS-3001, is a once-daily subcutaneous treatment for patients with vascular calcification disorders PAD and AVS, which are both major contributors to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in affected patient populations. With INS-3001 daily subcutaneous dosing, patients with earlier stages of vascular calcification can be optimally treated, while end-stage kidney disease patients will benefit from the three times per week dosing regimen of SNF472.

“We are gaining momentum with our ambitious strategic growth plans as we today add Sanifit, Inositec and their promising assets to our strong nephrology portfolio”, commented Abbas Hussain, Chief Executive Officer of Vifor Pharma. “These acquisitions are a perfect fit for our expanding nephrology pipeline, which now includes vascular calcification inhibition treatments across various stages of non-dialysis CKD and even non-CKD patient populations. Vifor Pharma will be spearheading the vascular calcification field, emphasizing our strategic focus to bring innovative assets to patients with high unmet medical need as we strive to improve lives of people suffering from serious diseases around the world.”

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Vifor Pharma will acquire 100% of the outstanding shares in Sanifit Therapeutics, receiving full global rights for SNF472, further enhancing the company’s portfolio of innovative assets. Shareholders of Sanifit will receive an upfront payment of EUR 205 million, clinical, regulatory and market access milestones for up to EUR 170 million and tiered sales-based milestones that could reach mid to high triple digit EUR millions at peak sales. Vifor Pharma will acquire 100% of the shares in Inositec AG, receiving full global rights for the lead asset INS-3001. Inositec will receive an upfront payment of CHF 20 million and be eligible for success based clinical earn-out payments in the low triple digit million range.

Joan Perelló, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Sanifit, said; “From the very beginning, Sanifit has been a pioneer of new approaches to treat calcification disorders, a huge area of unmet need. This agreement is a testament to the enduring commitment of our dedicated team and investors, as well as our unique approach to combat vascular calcification, which originated from the University of the Balearic Islands. We are excited to join forces with Vifor Pharma, which has a world-renowned commitment to patient focused cardio-renal therapies. Vifor Pharma is the ideal partner to take the development of Sanifit’s calcification franchise forward and bring these novel treatments to patients as quickly as possible.”

“This acquisition builds on years of hard work from the entire Inositec team and provides a strong foundation for improving outcomes for patients suffering from cardiovascular and vascular calcification disorders,” said Mattias Ivarsson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inositec, adding “Inositec’s transition to a clinical-stage company represents an ideal time to partner with Vifor Pharma to accelerate the clinical development of INS-3001.”

Sanifit conducted a phase-IIb trial (CaLIPSO) in 274 patients to assess the effect of SNF472 on slowing arterial calcification, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in dialysis patients. The trial met its primary endpoint in reducing coronary artery calcium progression in patients treated with SNF472, compared to patients receiving placebo over a 52-week period. SNF472 is currently in phase-III trials in CUA in patients on dialysis, to measure primary endpoints for wound healing and pain. A phase-III trial in PAD in patients on dialysis, is planned to commence in 2022.

Inositec’s lead vascular calcification inhibitor, INS-3001, is being developed to treat indications of high unmet medical need and has obtained approval for its phase-I trial, with the first healthy volunteer to be dosed on November 30, 2021. If successful, the plan is to initiate two phase-II programs in 2023, one in non-dialysis CKD patients suffering from PAD, and a separate trial in patients suffering from AVS, a serious condition whereby the aortic valves calcify to the extent that surgical intervention is the only available option.

The expected addressable patient population in the U.S. and EU suffering from calcifying non-dialysis and dialysis-associated PAD is estimated to be over 600,000. CUA is an ultra-orphan disease with approximately 10,000 patients across the US and EU. For AVS we are estimating approximately 1.1 million patients in the two geographies eligible to receive treatment.

Closing of both transactions is contingent on customary closing conditions, including for the Sanifit transaction a potential Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) procedure in Spain and a merger filing in the United States. Closing of the Sanifit transaction is expected to take place in Q1 2022 whereas closing of the Inositec transaction is expected to occur still in Q4 2021.

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