Updated on 13 June 2016
Singapore: San Francisco-based FibroGen Inc has announced that it will receive a $10.0 million milestone payment from Astellas Pharma Inc. This payment, which FibroGen expects to receive by July 2016, was triggered by the initiation by Astellas of the first phase III clinical study in Japan of roxadustat (ASP1517 or FG-4592) for treatment of anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients on dialysis.
Roxadustat, an orally administered small molecule inhibitor of hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase (HIF-PHI), is the most clinically advanced candidate in this new class of potential anemia therapeutic agents.
The press release says that under the exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Astellas, Astellas is responsible for the development costs of roxadustat in Japan, and makes payments to FibroGen for certain development, regulatory, and commercial-based milestones.
"We are pleased with the progress that our collaboration partner Astellas has made in moving roxadustat, our first in class HIF-PHI, into phase III in Japan," said Thomas B Neff, President and Chief Executive Officer of FibroGen. "Based on phase II data generated in multiple settings, roxadustat has the potential to provide a safer, more effective and more convenient alternative to erythropoiesis stimulating agents for Japanese CKD patients."