ChemoCentryx grabs $50M upfront, adds development partnership with Vifor

Gianni Zampieri, Vifor Pharm

Gianni Zampieri, Vifor Pharm

Seven months after Vifor swooped in to bag the European rights to ChemoCentryx’s C5a-targeting CCX168 with an $85 million down payment, the Swiss company has come back with $50 million more in cash to grab another one of the biotech’s experimental drugs.

To start, these partners plan to focus their attention on rare kidney diseases for CCX140, with Vifor holding an option on chronic kidney disease. ChemoCentryx $CCXI is keeping US and China rights initially while Vifor holds the license on the rest of the world. And if Vifor takes its broader option on CKD, ChemoCentryx can keep co-promotion rights in the US.

Mountain View, CA-based ChemoCentryx gets milestones in the deal as well.

ChemoCentryx has had its ups and downs over the years. In late 2013 GlaxoSmithKline $GSK abandoned its partnership on the biotech’s lead drug, the Crohn’s drug vercirnon, scrapping three late-stage studies after the first Phase III flopped. ChemoCentryx reported that GSK has begged off pursuing a follow-up anti-inflammatory program and returned another drug—CCX354—licensed out four years ago.

Now it’s hoping to keep the focus on a new chapter of development.

Said Gianni Zampieri, CEO of Vifor Pharma:

“CCX140 is a highly innovative approach, which is implicated in a number of kidney diseases, including diabetic nephropathy. We look forward to working with ChemoCentryx to develop both CCX140 and the C5aR inhibitor avacopan as potential new treatment options for patients suffering from serious kidney diseases.”

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