(Victoria, British Columbia) The Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP) is pleased to announce that Vifor Pharma (Aspreva International Ltd) has signed a three year extension to their current lease agreement for 20,000 feet of high-tech space. Vifor Pharma is the pharmaceutical business of the Galenica Group.

In 2007, Galenica acquired Aspreva Pharmaceuticals for US$915 Million to strengthen its pharmaceutical division, Vifor Pharma. Prior to the acquisition & merger, Aspreva was a global pharmaceutical company that pioneered a novel indication partnering approach to pharmaceutical business development, best exemplified within the Aspreva-Roche agreement for CellCept for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, with a focus on nephrology.

“Aspreva joined the VITP community in 2003 as a local start-up and was able to successfully develop a product and sell the company to a multi-national corporation within  four short years,” says Dale Gann, President, VITP.  “Vifor Pharma’s decision to maintain a local office is a testament to the Victoria Technology community’s ability to attract world-class talent and provide a cost effective environment to operate business.” Gann concludes, “The Vifor Pharma story is a significant achievement for the Greater Victoria Region.”

“Vifor Pharm is pleased to reconfirm our commitment with VITP,” says Martin Thornton, Director & Head Human Resources (North America).  “VITP offers an ideal environment that supports our innovative culture and the growth of knowledge based companies, such as ours.”

“Vifor is shining example of the region’s entrepreneurial spirit, and helps showcase Victoria as a place where great ideas happen,” says Sasha Angus, Economic Development Officer, Greater Victoria Development Agency. “Companies like Vifor are tremendous ambassadors for the region, helping to attract new talent and investment to the community.”

The Victoria office will, over the coming years, increasingly focus upon the global development of Vifor Pharma’s broader portfolio of compounds used in the treatment of anaemia in a range of therapeutic areas; as well as in conjunction with our strategic partner F. Hoffman- La Roche, continue activities to develop  CellCept (R) in the  treatment of  patients afflicted with  Lupus Nephritis.

About Vancouver Island Technology Park

The Vancouver Island Technology Park, a University of Victoria Enterprise, facilitates the growth of technology on Vancouver Island by providing physical infrastructure linking local, provincial, national and international resources with emerging or growing tech companies.  VITP is a highly acclaimed centre of hi-tech excellence for world class science and innovation.  Today, the existing 200,000 square feet facility is a proven model which is fully-leased to 32 hi-tech companies. VITP is home to 1,300 highly-skilled and educated workers who contribute in excess of $317M annually to the economy of British Columbia.  More information about the Vancouver Island Technology Park is available at www.vitp.ca.

About Vifor Pharma

Vifor Pharma is the pharmaceutical business of the Galenica Group. Galenica is a diversified company based in Switzerland, active throughout the healthcare market which develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products, runs pharmacies, provides logistical services & access to databases.

Vifor Pharma is a specialty pharma company, and the world leader in the market for pharmaceutical iron products. We supply customers in over 80 countries with finished products & active compounds, including oral & parenteral iron products for the treatment & prophylaxis of iron deficiency anaemia, through a network of affiliates, partners and distributors.

The focus for Vifor Pharma is Anaemia. Our business development goal is to in-license products in various stages of development in order to expand our development pipeline within the areas of our therapeutic interest.

Media Contact:
Nikki de Goey
Manager, Culture & Corporate Relations
Vancouver Island Technology Park & Marine Technology Centre
P: 250.483.3228
E: ndegoey@vitp.ca