Keryx, Torii commence phase-3 trial for Zerenex in Japan

NEW YORK — A U.S. drug maker and its Japanese partner have started a late-stage clinical trial of a drug for treating elevated phosphate levels in the body, the two announced Monday.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals and Torii Pharmaceutical, the pharmaceuticals subsidiary of Japan Tobacco, started a phase-3 trial of Zerenex (ferric citrate) in Japan for patients with hyperphosphatemia. The drug also is in phase-3 trials in the United States as a treatment for hyperphosphatemia in patients with end-stage kidney disease on dialysis.

“We congratulate our partner, JT/Torii, on the initiation of the phase-3 program in Japan and are excited by their progress,” Keryx CEO Ron Bentsur said. “We believe that this serves to further validate the commercial potential for Zerenex worldwide.”

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