Vifor Pharma paves way as stand-alone with Potters sale

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Switzerland-headquartered Vifor Pharma has begun to lay the foundations for its future as an independent company by selling off Potters, the leading UK manufacturer and supplier of traditional herbal treatments.

Potters, which is based in Wigan, is being acquired by Australia’s Soho Flordis International, through its Swiss subsidiary Ginsana. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015 and financial details have not been disclosed.

Potters has been in business for over 200 years and specialises in treatments for coughs and colds, pain and joint care, gastrointestinal disorders and women’s health. In addition, its range of products include brands like Red Kooga, Seatone, Calcia and Equazen, one of the world’s leading fish oil-containing health products.

Vifor Pharma is the pharmaceutical arm of the Galenica Group and plans are well-advanced for the unit to be spun off. A spokesperson for the former told PF that it has decided to focus its resources and efforts “on maximising and expanding its portfolio of specialty pharmaceuticals as it prepares for life as a stand-alone company. Therefore, the decision to find a new owner for Potters is a logical step”.

Analysts are expecting big things from Vifor, a highly-profitable concern and a world leader in the treatment of iron deficiency. Future growth plans are based in part on its  intravenous iron therapy Ferinject (ferric carboxymaltose) and a meta-analysis presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in London demonstrated that the drug was associated with a 41% reduction in the risk of recurrent cardiovascular hospitalisation or CV death.

Stefan Anker of the University Medical Centre Göttingen and lead author of the meta-analysis said the results show that treating iron deficiency in patients with systolic chronic heart failure with Ferinject “could have a significant impact on cardiovascular outcomes”.