Solving the mystery of Vifor’s new voucher

Today Vifor Pharma said it had bought a priority review voucher. What it did not say, however, is from whom it bought it, how much it paid, or the use to which the voucher is to be put. Fortunately educated guesses can be made regarding all these unknowns. The table below reveals that 21 unused vouchers are thought to be in existence, and might thus have been sold to Vifor. As to price, the vouchers that changed hands last year went for about $100m – Vifor presumably would have paid around the same amount. When it comes to the project for which Vifor’s voucher might be used, the obvious candidate is vadadustat, in US phase III trials for the treatment of anaemia due to chronic kidney disease. Notably, one of the main candidates for use of the priority review voucher Astrazeneca bought from Sobi last year is the similar project roxadustat – though when Fibrogen, Astra’s partner, announced the filing it did not mention priority review. Perhaps this is a chance for Vifor, and its US partners Akebia Therapeutics and Otsuka, to steal a march on the competition.

Disclosed priority review vouchers thought not to have been redeemed
Date issued Issued company Action
Feb 2014 Biomarin Sold for $68m to Sanofi & Regeneron
Sep 2015 Wellstat Transferred to Astrazeneca in licensing deal
Apr 2017 Biomarin Sold for $125m to undisclosed party
Dec 2017 Spark Sold for $110m to Jazz Pharmaceuticals
Apr 2018 Ultragenyx Sold for $81m to undisclosed party
Jul 2018 Siga Sold for $80m to Lilly
Jun 2018 Medicines Development Sold to Novo Nordisk
Nov 2018 Novimmune Asset sold to Sobi, which sold PRV for $95m to Astrazeneca
Sep 2019 Bavarian Nordic Sold for $95m to undisclosed party
Dec 2015 Alexion None
Dec 2016 Biogen/Ionis None
Feb 2017 Marathon None; asset sold to PTC Therapeutics
Aug 2017 Insud Pharma None
Oct 2018 Leadiant None
Feb 2019 Novartis None
Feb 2019 Vertex None
May 2019 Sanofi None
May 2019 Novartis None
Aug 2019 TB Alliance None
Dec 2019 Sarepta None
Dec 2019 Merck & Co None

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