Days after buyout news, Vifor outlines plan to offload 'non-core' finished drug manufacturing wing
Australian firm CSL paid a steep price earlier this week for Vifor Pharma and its pipeline of iron and kidney drugs. Looking to ensure it starts its next phase as battle-ready as possible, Vifor will now dump its “non-core” manufacturing business as it slims down before the merge.
Vifor Pharma will offload its finished drug manufacturing wing to Swiss CDMO CordenPharma in a deal designed to streamline the biotech’s business as it awaits regulatory approval for a $11.7 billion buyout by CSL announced earlier this week.
The divesture will see CordenPharma assume control of Vifor manufacturing operations in Fribourg and Ettingen, Switzerland, and Lisbon, Portugal, and continue manufacturing drugs currently produced on site. Meanwhile, Vifor will hold on to its production facility in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where it will focus on producing the API necessary to make its iron therapies, the company said.
Vifor will hold on to the commercial teams associated with those three sites, the company said.
“In support of our ambitious growth strategy, optimizing our manufacturing footprint will enable us to build an even stronger, more efficient organization focusing on core capabilities in nephrology, and to maximize and leverage our market-leading expertise and intellectual property in iron deficiency,” Vifor CEO Abbas Hussain said in a statement.
Earlier this week, CSL unveiled plans to acquire Vifor for $11.7 billion — a steep premium for an emerging drugmaker with a recent history of setbacks but one the Australian firm saw as a meaningful addition to its broadening portfolio. On top of its iron therapies, Vifor has a license-heavy pipeline of drugs in the works, including partnered kidney drug ANG-3777, which has failed multiple mid-stage tests.
Talks between CSL and Vifor reportedly began in March, but rumors germinated earlier this month when Australian outlets such as The Australian and the Australian Financial Review reported CSL and Vifor were in negotiations for a potential deal.