Wed, Sep 03, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Panion & BF Biotech Inc details Japanese royalties

PHOSPHATE FIXER:Days after sealing a deal to sell a new treatment in China via a joint venture, the firm outlined an agreement with its Japanese sales partner

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Panion & BF Biotech Inc (寶齡富錦) yesterday said it would receive single-digit percentage royalties from Japanese partner Torii Pharmaceutical Co for the sales of a new drug for treating elevated serum phosphate levels from chronic kidney disease.

Japan-based Torii Pharmaceutical Co expects sales of Nephoxil to hit ¥1.2 billion (US$11.4 million) this year, after launching the kidney drug on May 12, Panion & BF said.

From May 12 through June, Torii generated revenue of ¥270 million by selling the drug, Panion & BF executive president Michael Chiang (江宗明) said in a press conference yesterday.

Torii has priced Nephoxil at ¥99.8 per 250mg pill; an average patient needs to take 3 to 6 grams of the treatment each day, Chiang said.

In 2012, Japan had 312,000 dialysis patients, the second-largest number worldwide, Panion & BF said, citing Germany-based Fresenius Medical Care, which provides dialysis products and services.

About 80 percent of people who receive dialysis have high phosphate levels, Panion & BF said.

On Monday, the Taiwanese maker of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and consumer healthcare products announced a joint venture with China-based Shandong Weigao Pharmaceutical Co (山東威高藥業) to offer kidney disease treatments in China and to apply for a Nephoxil drug permit in the market.

Panion & BF is to receive 150 million yuan (US$24.42 million) from the joint venture through a down payment and milestone payments for licensing Nephoxil to Shandong Weigao, while maintaining a 49 percent stake in the venture against a 51 percent stake held by the Chinese firm.

“We aim to launch Nephoxil in China within two to three years,” Shandong Weigao president Huang Xian-feng (黃顯峰) said yesterday in Taipei at the press conference.

Shandong Weigao is expected to generate revenue of 500 million yuan this year.

Weigao Group (威高集團) reported annual revenue of 20.2 billion yuan and profit of 3 billion yuan last year, Huang said.

In 2012, China had the third-largest number of people who receive dialysis — 289,000 — a number expected to become the largest globally in 2020 at 1.5 million, on the back of wider coverage of the country’s health insurance policy, Panion & BF said.

In 2020, the total number of people globally who receive dialysis is likely to rise as high as 4 million, up from 2.36 million in 2012, the company said.

Meanwhile, Panion & BF’s US partner, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc, is expected to receive the results of its new drug application for Nephoxil from the US Food and Drug Administration on Sunday.

The US had the world’s largest dialysis population in 2012, with 436,000 people receiving the treatment, Panion & BF said.

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