Chinook Therapeutics and Investors Form Joint Venture for Kidney Disease Therapies

Chinook Therapeutics has formed a 50/50 joint venture with investors to develop kidney disease therapies in China.

On Nov. 30, 2021, Chinook Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in precision medicines for kidney diseases, announced the formation of a joint venture with an investor syndicate led by Frazier Healthcare Partners and Pivotal bioVenture Partners China. The joint venture, SanReno Therapeutics, will develop, manufacture, and commercialize kidney disease therapies in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Singapore (collectively called the “Territory”).

Under the agreement, Chinook has granted SanReno exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the therapeutic candidates atrasentan and BION-1301 in the Territory in exchange for 50% ownership of SanReno. The investor syndicate, which also includes Versant Ventures and Samsara BioCapital, both existing Chinook investors, has invested $40 million for the remaining 50% ownership of SanReno.

In addition to its equity stake, Chinook is entitled to receive progress-dependent milestone payments and royalties with respect to atrasentan and BION-1301. SanReno will be responsible for all development, manufacturing, and commercialization costs for the two therapeutic candidates in the Territory, while Chinook will supply clinical trial material and technical support until manufacturing technology transfer has been completed. Chinook and the investor syndicate also have an option to participate in future investment rounds for SanReno.

Furthermore, Chinook and SanReno have reciprocal rights of first negotiation in their respective territories for certain future kidney disease products developed or in-licensed by either company. Chinook retains full rights to atrasentan and BION-1301 outside of the Territory.

“Formation of this joint venture allows Chinook to expand our global reach and establish a strong presence in China by partnering with investors who are experienced in company formation, drug development, and commercialization in the region,” said Eric Dobmeier, president and CEO of Chinook Therapeutics, in a company press release. “Chronic kidney disease is a major public health concern in China, affecting over ten percent of the population, including several million patients with IgAN [immunoglobulin A nephropathy]. Working with SanReno will expand Chinook’s access to Chinese patient populations, key opinion leader networks, and on-the-ground operational support to accelerate enrollment and regulatory approval of our programs globally.”

“Frazier is excited to partner with Pivotal and Chinook to bring potentially best-in-class drugs to the Chinese market for patients suffering from serious kidney diseases. The high prevalence of IgAN and limited treatment options in China have driven significant market potential for SanReno,” said Patrick Heron, managing partner of Frazier Healthcare Partners, in the press release. “With Frazier’s background in company creation and Pivotal’s extensive expertise building joint ventures in China, we believe SanReno will have exceptional operational support and be well-positioned to address the large unmet medical need.”

Source: Chinook Therapeutics