Relypsa and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Enter Into Partnership to Commercialize Patiromer FOS in Europe and Additional Territories

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., and ST. GALLEN, Switzerland, Aug. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Relypsa, Inc. (NASDAQ:RLYP), a biopharmaceutical company, and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Ltd. (VFMCRP), a common company of Galenica and Fresenius Medical Care, today announced they have entered into an exclusive partnership to commercialize Patiromer for Oral Suspension (Patiromer FOS), Relypsa's investigational medicine for the treatment of hyperkalemia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Relypsa will receive an upfront cash payment of $40 million and will be eligible to receive payments of up to $125 million upon achieving certain regulatory and sales based milestones. In addition, Relypsa will receive tiered double-digit royalties on net sales of Patiromer FOS in the licensed territories. VFMCRP will obtain an exclusive marketing right from Relypsa in worldwide territories except the United States and Japan, where Relypsa retains all commercial rights. Relypsa and VFMCRP will collaborate on ongoing development of Patiromer FOS, including submission of a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Patiromer FOS is an oral potassium binder being developed for the treatment of hyperkalemia, a potentially life-threatening condition defined as abnormally elevated levels of potassium in the blood. Hyperkalemia occurs most frequently in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and heart failure. A New Drug Application (NDA) for Patiromer FOS for the treatment of hyperkalemia is under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date of October 21, 2015. A MAA for Patiromer FOS is expected to be submitted with the EMA in the first half of 2016.

"We are excited to partner with Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma, which has a well-established commercial organization with a proven track record in cardiorenal diseases. If approved, Patiromer FOS will be promoted by the largest dedicated renal and heart failure sales forces in Europe," said John A. Orwin, president and chief executive officer of Relypsa. "We are confident they will be an excellent partner to commercialize and develop Patiromer FOS outside the United States and look forward to working with them to bring this medicine to patients around the world."

"Patiromer FOS has the potential to become an important new treatment option for hyperkalemia. We are pleased about partnering with Relypsa to bring this exciting medicine to patients in Europe and other markets as soon as possible," said Stefan Schulze, CEO, Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma. "The agreement with Relypsa is a recognition of Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma's growing leadership in nephrology as we continue to expand our renal pharma product portfolio and commercial organization."

Conference Call Today at 5:00 PM ET (2:00 PM PT)

The Relypsa management team will host a teleconference and webcast to discuss the partnership. The live call may be accessed by phone by calling (866) 410-4428 (domestic) or (704) 908-0287 (international), conference code 8382449. The webcast may be accessed live on the investor relations section of the Relypsa website at and will be archived for 30 days following the call.

About Patiromer for Oral Suspension

Patiromer FOS is an oral potassium binder in development for the treatment of hyperkalemia. This investigational medicine has been studied in both treatment and prevention studies, primarily in patients with CKD, and/or heart failure, as well as patients with diabetes and hypertension. The clinical program includes a two-part pivotal Phase 3 program conducted under Special Protocol Assessment with the FDA, a 12-month Phase 2 trial and a 48-hour Phase 1 onset-of-action trial.

About Hyperkalemia

Hyperkalemia, or abnormally elevated levels of potassium in the blood, is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death. It is frequently prevalent in patients who suffer from CKD, hypertension, diabetes and/or heart failure. Patients with CKD or heart failure are at particular risk for developing hyperkalemia, especially those treated with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system (RAAS) inhibitors, which can increase blood potassium levels in patients taking these medicines.

About Relypsa, Inc.

Relypsa, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of non-absorbed polymeric drugs to treat disorders in the areas of renal, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The company's two-part pivotal Phase 3 trial of its lead product candidate, Patiromer for Oral Suspension, has been completed and the primary and secondary endpoints were met. A New Drug Application for Patiromer for Oral Suspension for the treatment of hyperkalemia was accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is currently under review. Relypsa has global royalty-free commercialization rights to Patiromer for Oral Suspension, which has intellectual property protection until 2030 in the United States and 2029 in the European Union. More information is available at

About Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Ltd.

Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Ltd., a common company of Galenica and Fresenius Medical Care, develops and commercializes innovative and high quality therapies to improve the life of patients suffering from chronic kidney disease worldwide. The company was founded at the end of 2010 and is owned 55 percent by Galenica and 45 percent by Fresenius Medical Care.

Forward-Looking Statements Related to Relypsa, Inc.

To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Relypsa, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the potential approval and launch of Patiromer for Oral Suspension, or Patiromer FOS, the experience and capabilities of Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Ltd., or VFMCRP, the expected impact of Relypsa's partnership with VFMCRP, the therapeutic and commercial potential of Patiromer FOS and the potential Prescription Drug User Fee Act action date. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our clinical development program, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in the clinical drug development process, including the regulatory approval process, the timing of Relypsa's regulatory filings, Relypsa's substantial dependence on Patiromer FOS, Relypsa's commercialization plans and efforts and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of Patiromer FOS. Relypsa undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Relypsa in general, see Relypsa's current and future reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2015.

CONTACT: Relypsa Contact:
         Charlotte Arnold
         Vice President, Corporate Communications
         VFMCRP Contact:
         Beatrix Benz
         Head of Global Communications & Public Affairs
         +41 58 851 80 16