Vifor Pharma sheds finished drug manufacturing biz days after $11.7B sale to CSL

Vifor Pharma, which CSL agreed to buy two days ago in the biggest biopharma M&A deal of the year, is shedding its finished drug manufacturing business to CDMO CordenPharma for an undisclosed price.

The sale is part of Vifor’s strategy to focus on its core capabilities of in-licensing, partnering and commercializing nephrology products as well as grow its iron portfolio, the company said. The company’s Ferinject, an iron supplement that accounts for 30% of its sales, faces generic competition between 2024 and 2026.

Although financial terms weren’t disclosed, CordenPharma picks up all shares in Vifor SA, Fribourg, including its Ettingen branch, and Lisbon-based OM Pharma SA. Those companies operate Vifor’s three sites for finished drug manufacturing operations. Vifor said the sale will result in an asset impairment it will report in its 2021 financial results.

“By incorporating these three Vifor Pharma manufacturing facilities into our global network, we look forward to not only supplying Vifor Pharma as a manufacturing partner but also closing gaps in our service offering for oral solid dosage drug product manufacturing and increasing our overall capacity,” Michael Quirmbach, chief executive of CordenPharma, said in a statement.

The deal with CordenPharma, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022,  was disclosed to CSL as part of the due diligence process of that sale. 

RELATED: CSL to buy Vifor for $11.7B in biopharma’s largest M&A deal this year

With its Vifor buy, CSL picks up the Swiss drugmaker's marketed offerings and 37 pipeline products. The additions will make the company less dependent on its blood plasma business that took a hit during the pandemic but has begun to recover this year, the company said.