Cara Therapeutics starts drug development with Vifor Fresenius

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Cara Therapeutics, a U.S. biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pruritus and pain by selectively targeting peripheral kappa opioid receptors, announced that it has licensed worldwide rights, except in the U.S., Japan and South Korea, to commercialize KORSUVA injection for the treatment of chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP) in dialysis patients to Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Ltd (VFMCRP), a joint company of Vifor Pharma Group and Fresenius Medical Care that specializes in treatments for CKD.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to KORSUVA injection for this indication, for which there are currently no approved therapies in the U.S. or E.U.

“As a global leader in providing treatment for chronic kidney disease patients, VFMCRP is an ideal partner to bring KORSUVA injection to dialysis patients across Europe and other licensed territories,” said Derek Chalmers, Ph.D., D.Sc., President and Chief Executive Officer of Cara Therapeutics. “Additionally, we believe the ability to leverage VFMCRP’s nephrology-focused commercial expertise in our co-promotion partnership for U.S. Fresenius Medical Care dialysis facilities will provide significant momentum for adoption of KORSUVA injection, if approved in the U.S. Importantly, we continue to retain all rights to KORSUVA/CR845 in other indications.”

“CR845 injection is a first-in-class, innovative investigational medicine for treating a highly debilitating disease. It is a natural fit to our leading product portfolio in nephrology, and we look forward to making it available to patients who urgently need better therapy,” said Stefan Schulze, Vifor Pharma President of the Executive Committee and COO. “Sixty to 70% of dialysis patients experience CKD-aP. Nearly 20% suffer from a very severe form, which is associated with much lower survival. And despite this clear unmet medical need, there is no approved treatment for CKD-aP in Europe or the U.S. CR845 does not penetrate the brain and so bypasses unwanted side-effects like opioid addiction. It has significant potential for setting new standards in providing relief, both from CKD- induced itching and post-operative pain.”

SOURCE: cara therapeutics
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