- Swiss company Vifor Pharma developed Velphoro (sucroferric oxyhydroxide) in 2011. Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma later won rights to the drug.
- Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who are on dialysis take an average of 19 pills per day, half of which are phosphate binders. Using Velphoro instead of current standard of care drugs like Sanofi's Renvela (sevelamer carbonate) will significantly slash their pill burden.
- Velphoro was approved by the FDA in November 2013 based on strong phase II data.
Velphoro represents another treatment option for CKD dialysis patients who are faced with a high pill burden. The recommended starting dose of Velphoro is three tablets per day -- one with each meal. By contrast, patients who take Renvela to prevent accumulation of excess phosphate in the blood have to take about nine tablets per day in addition to all of their other medications.
One of the most important implications of Velphoro's more manageable pill schedule is its potential to encourage more patients to comply with their treatment regimens. Not only does Velphoro require less frequent dosing -- it's tasty, too. The treatment comes in the form of a chewable tablet that was extensively taste tested by dialysis patients who gave Velphoro’s wildberry flavor a big thumbs up.