Cara Therapeutics in Stamford has licensed worldwide rights, except in the U.S., Japan and South Korea, to commercialize its late-stage kidney disease drug Korsuva in an agreement that could net it up to $470 million.
Cara signed the deal with Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma, a Swiss joint venture between Fresenius Medical Care, the largest kidney dialysis provider in the U.S., and Vifor Pharma. Cara will receive an upfront payment of $50 million in cash and $20 million as an equity investment.
It will also be eligible to receive additional payments of up to $470 million, which includes $30 million in regulatory and up to $440 million in tiered commercial milestones, that are all sales-related. Cara is further eligible to receive tiered royalties based on net sales of Korsuva injections in the licensed territories.
Korsuva is in a Phase III trial to treat itching and pain for chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis treatments. The drug treats those side effects by selectively targeting peripheral kappa opioid receptors.
Cara retains full development and commercialization rights for Korsuva in the U.S. except in the dialysis clinics of Fresenius Medical Care North America, where VFMCRP and Cara will promote the drug under a profit-sharing arrangement based on net FMCNA clinic sales recorded by Cara.
The Stamford company will solely promote Korsuva in all non-FMC clinics in the U.S. and retain all profits from those sales.