Press release

Vifor Pharma and Zeria Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. enter into an exclusive licensing agreement for Ferinject® in Japan

Tuesday, 13 August 2013, ↓ directly to download

Vifor Pharma, a company of the Galenica Group, today announced that it entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Zeria Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. for the development and commercialization of Ferinject® (ferric carboxymaltose) for the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in Japan.

Under the terms of the agreement, Zeria Pharmaceutical will be responsible for all development and commercialization activities for Ferinject® in Japan.

Iron deficiency is a serious complication of many clinical conditions such as chronic heart failure, gastrointestinal disorders, chronic kidney disease and cancer, and it is of particular concern for women and the elderly people in Japan where the incidence can be as high as 25%. As many as 18 million people in Japan exhibit signs of anaemia mainly due to iron deficiency and would benefit from iron replacement therapies1,2,3,4.

The collaboration with Zeria Pharmaceutical is a significant milestone in the global growth strategy for Ferinject®. It builds on a large clinical evidence base and rapidly growing commercial experience worldwide in a variety of therapeutic fields. The strong development and marketing capabilities at Zeria Pharmaceutical are ideally suited to introduce this innovative intravenous iron therapy to Japanese patients and physicians.

Vifor Pharma, a company of the Galenica Group, is a world leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of iron deficiency. The company also offers a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines as well as over-the-counter (OTC) products. Vifor Pharma, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, has an increasingly global presence and a broad network of affiliates and partners around the world.

Zeria Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., founded in 1955, is a leading pharmaceutical company based in Tokyo, Japan, focusing on marketing, promotion and sales of prescription drugs as well as OTC products. The company is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Stock code: 4559). Zeria holds a leading position within the gastroenterology field in Japan and operates internationally through a number of subsidiaries. For more information about Zeria please visit

Ferinject® is an innovative non-dextran intravenous (i.v.) iron replacement therapy discovered and developed by Vifor Pharma, a company of the Galenica Group. Ferric carboxymaltose is the active pharmaceutical ingredient of Ferinject®. To date, Ferinject® has gained marketing authorisation in 47 countries worldwide for the treatment of iron deficiency where oral iron is ineffective or cannot be used. In many countries, intravenous iron replacement products are primarily used to treat dialysis patients. However, iron deficiency is also a complication of many other diseases. Vifor Pharma is evaluating new opportunities in the treatment of iron deficiency with Ferinject® in different therapeutic areas. Further clinical trials with Ferinject® in chronic kidney disease (CKD), oncology (anaemia in cancer patients), cardiology (chronic heart failure), patient blood management and women’s health are ongoing.

1. Fumi Hayashi, Nobuo Yoshiike, Katsushi Yoshita and Kazuo Kawahara (2008). Trends in the prevalence of anaemia in Japanese adult women, 1989-2003. Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 11, Issue 03, March 2008, 252-257.
2. Eiji Kusumi, Midori Shoji, Shigeyuki Endou, Yukiko Kishi, Taro Shibata, Naoko Murashige, Tamae Hamaki, Tomoko Matsumura, Koichiro Yuji, Akiko Yoneyama, Masahiro Kamia. Prevalence of Anemia among Healthy Women in 2 Metropolitan Areas of Japan. Int J Hematology 2006;84:217-219.
3. Hiroyuki Umegaki, Madoka Yanagawa, Hidetoshi Endo. Association of lower hemoglobin level with depressive mood in elderly women at high risk of requiring care. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2011; 11: 262-266.
4. Tatsumi UCHIDA, Yasunori KAWACHI, Yukihiro SAKAMOTO, Toshio IGAKI, Nozomi OGASAWARA, Shigeo KARIYONE, Shin MATSUDA, Tetsugoro TANAKA, Hideo KIMURA, Keiji Kokubun. Prevalence and Pathogenesis of Iron Deficiency in Japanese Women (1981-1991). Rinsho Ketsueki, Vol. 33 (1992), No. 11, 1661-1665.


Beatrix Benz

Head of Global Communications & Public Affairs

Vifor Pharma Ltd.

Global Communications
Flughofstrasse 61
P.O. Box
CH-8152 Glattbrugg

+41 58 851 80 00
+41 58 851 80 01

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