Vifor Pharma has announced a new joint venture with Evotec for the discovery and development of novel nephrology therapeutics. Through the agreement, the company will gain access to an external R&D capability for the development of its own nephrology pipeline.

Evotec will gain access to a commercial partner through out licensing all nephrology assets developed through the joint venture to Vifor.

The partnership aims to analyse the clinical data provided by Evotec that is mining a unique UK kidney biobank, NURTuRE, in order to “identify new targets for renal therapies, and sharpen existing product profiles of an innovative pipeline.”

Further to this, Evotec confirmed that it will focus on applying its leading drug discovery & development capabilities and will leverage Vifor Pharma’s proven commercial platform to create a “robust” pipeline of nephrology programmes.

Vifor has announced that it will cover the initial funding of €25 million for pre-clinical development, in order for multiple targets or candidates to be moved forward simultaneously.

The creation of the joint venture will enable Vifor to “identify new targets for renal therapies to bolster our pipeline,” explained Stefan Schulze, chief operating offer and president of the company.

He continued, “We will now have access to Evotec’s best-in-class drug discovery as well as pre-clinical capabilities without having to expand our own R&D infrastructure. By drawing on the unique strengths of Vifor Pharma and Evotec, this joint venture will create a powerful research platform and contribute to establish Vifor Pharma as a global leader in nephrology.”