Press release

Velphoro® (PA21) receives US FDA approval for the treatment of
hyperphosphatemia in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients on dialysis

Thursday, 28 November 2013, ↓ directly to download

Velphoro® (sucroferric oxyhydroxide) has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) on dialysis. Velphoro® will be launched in the US by Fresenius Medical Care North America in 2014.

_Velphoro® (previously known as PA21) is an iron-based, calcium-free, chewable phosphate binder. US approval was based on a pivotal Phase III study, which met its primary and secondary endpoints. The study demonstrated that Velphoro® successfully controls hyperphosphatemia with fewer pills than sevelamer carbonate, the current standard of care in patients with CKD on dialysis. The average daily dose to control hyperphosphatemia was 3.3 pills per day after 52 weeks.

_Velphoro® was developed by Vifor Pharma. In 2011, all rights were transferred to Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma, a common company of Galenica and Fresenius Medical Care. In the US, Velphoro® will be marketed by Fresenius Medical Care North America, a company with a strong marketing and sales organization, and expertise in dialysis care. The active ingredient of Velphoro® is produced by Vifor Pharma in Switzerland.

_Hyperphosphatemia, an abnormal elevation of phosphorus levels in the blood, is a common and serious condition in CKD patients on dialysis. Most dialysis patients are treated with phosphate binders. However, despite the availability of a number of different phosphate binders, up to 50% of patients – depending on the region – are still unable to achieve and maintain their target serum phosphorus
levels. In some patients, non-compliance due to the high pill burden and poor tolerability appear to be key factors in the lack of control of serum phosphorus levels. On average, dialysis patients take approximately 19 pills per day with phosphate binders comprising approximately 50% of the total daily pill burden. The recommended starting dose of Velphoro® is 3 tablets per day (1 tablet per meal).

_Full results from the pivotal Phase III study involving more than 1,000 patients were presented at both the 50th ERA-EDTA (European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Association) Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2013, and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week in Atlanta, Georgia, in November 2013. Velphoro® was shown to be a potent phosphate binder, with lower pill burden and a good safety profile, and offers a new and effective therapeutic option for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease on dialysis.

_The regulatory processes in Europe, Switzerland and Singapore are ongoing and decisions are expected in the first half 2014. Further submissions for approval are being prepared.

Galenica is a diversified Group active throughout the healthcare market which, among other activities, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products, runs pharmacies, provides logistical and database services and sets up networks. With its two Business units Vifor Pharma and Galenica Santé, the Galenica Group enjoys a leading position in all its core business activities. A large part of the Group’s income is generated by international operations. Galenica is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX Swiss Exchange, GALN, security number 1,553,646).


Christina Hertig

Christina Hertig

Head of Corporate Communications

Galenica Ltd.

Corp. Communications
Untermattweg 8
CH-3027 Bern

+41 58 852 85 17
+41 58 852 85 58

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