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Pioneering Project for Pharmaceutics – Vifor Pharma and the University of Basel are Jointly Establishing the World’s First Research Professorship for Nanopharmaceutical and Regulatory Science

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Public-private partnership is intended to safeguard Switzerland’s
competitive position in pharmaceutical technologies of the future


ZURICH & BASEL, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nanopharmaceutics promises ground-breaking innovation in the development
of medicines:

  • The Vifor Pharma Group is endowing two professorships for
    Nanopharmaceutical and Regulatory Science at the University of Basel
  • The commitment by Vifor Pharma and the University of Basel is aimed at
    ensuring Switzerland has the specialist knowledge and equipment needed
    to compete globally in this important emerging area of life sciences
  • With this decision, Vifor Pharma is demonstrating its commitment to
    Switzerland as a world-leading location for pharmaceutical research
    and development

Nanomedicines are playing an increasingly important role in the
development of innovative new medications. These drugs are able to
overcome specific cellular barriers in the human body with a view to
targeting their effect even more precisely. Nanopharmacy therefore
promises to help advance medical science and bring significant benefit
to patients.

At present, however, researchers are only just beginning to acquire the
in-depth scientific insights needed for a fundamental understanding of
the development of nanomedicines, their applications and especially the
regulatory requirements for their approval across Europe and worldwide.
Likewise, there is a lack of experts with the necessary specialist
knowledge – and these experts are urgently needed in industry, at
regulatory authorities and in medical practice, including in
Switzerland. As with other areas of cutting-edge research, this will
take the form of a global race: those able to present findings as
quickly as possible will be able to assert themselves as a centre of
excellence in nanopharmaceutics.

Spread over 10 years, the commitment of CHF 10 million by the Vifor
Pharma Group is intended to establish the field of nanopharmacy research
at the University of Basel and to support the training of corresponding
experts. The newly-created professorships in Nanopharmaceutical and
Regulatory Science will be based at the Department of Pharmaceutical
Sciences. There are also plans to establish and develop an
internationally renowned Excellence Platform for the development,
authorisation and application of nanopharmaceuticals, as well as the
training of experts in the field.

Vifor Pharma views its contribution as start-up funding for this
Excellence Platform, which is supported and jointly endorsed by
stakeholders from academia, industry and public authorities. The aim is
for the platform to both focus on research and teaching, and also to
seek out international partnerships, organise conferences and
incorporate additional sponsors with a view to becoming a leading
international centre for nanopharmacy. “In order to make rapid progress
in nanopharmaceutics, we’re reliant on clear and scientifically sound
parameters for authorisation and patient safety,” says Etienne Jornod,
Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Vifor Pharma. “The field
of nanopharmacy is growing quickly, and it’s important to secure a
leading position in this innovative area of medicine with the help of
qualified experts. That’s why we want to help ensure that Switzerland
establishes a strong research foundation in this emerging area of
pharmaceutical development.”

For the University of Basel, this collaboration marks an important step
in the further development of its life sciences focal area. “We’re proud
to be able to develop this promising field of research in collaboration
with a major industrial partner,” says Professor Andrea Schenker-Wicki,
President of the University of Basel. “The crucial thing here is that
we’re not only developing the scientific foundations, but also training
the experts who will take this knowledge with them into industry and
public authorities.” It is, she says, a key step for Basel and
Switzerland in terms of their ability to compete on the international
stage.

Vifor Pharma Group is a global pharmaceuticals company
headquartered in Switzerland. It aims to become the global leader in
iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The company is
the partner of choice for pharmaceuticals and innovative patient-focused
solutions. The Vifor Pharma Group strives to help patients around the
world with severe and chronic diseases lead better, healthier lives. The
company develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products for
precision patient care. The Vifor Pharma Group holds a leading position
in all its core business activities and consists of the following
companies: Vifor Pharma; Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma (a
joint company with Fresenius Medical Care); Relypsa; and OM Pharma. The
Vifor Pharma Group is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX Swiss
Exchange, VIFN, ISIN: CH0364749348).
For more information, please
visit www.viforpharma.com.
In
Switzerland Vifor Pharma has four production and research & development
sites where the vast majority of medications are produced. Together with
company headquarters, these sites employ over 1,300 people in
Switzerland. The affiliate Vifor Pharma Switzerland is operating out of
Villars-sur-Glâne in the French speaking part of the country.

The University of Basel has an international reputation of
outstanding achievements in research and teaching. Founded in 1460, the
University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland and has a
history of success going back over 550 years.
As a comprehensive
university offering a wide range of high-quality educational
opportunities, the University of Basel attracts students from
Switzerland and the entire world, offering them outstanding studying
conditions as they work towards their bachelor’s, master’s or PhD
degrees. Today, the University of Basel has around 13,000 students from
over a hundred nations, including 2,800 PhD students. The University of
Basel has seven faculties covering a wide spectrum of academic
disciplines. At the same time, the university has positioned itself
amidst the international competition in the form of five strategic focal
areas: Life Sciences, Visual Studies, Nanosciences, Sustainability and
Energy Research and European and Global Studies. In international
rankings, the University of Basel is regularly placed among the 100 top
universities in the world thanks to its research achievements.
The
University of Basel has deep roots in the economically powerful and
culturally rich Basel region. The university also works closely with
domestic and international partners to make relevant contributions to
the advancement of the sciences and society. This also means that the
University of Basel pays particular attention to aspects of
sustainability, equal opportunity and knowledge transfer.

Contacts

Media Relations Vifor Pharma
Heide Hauer
Head of
Corporate Communications
+41 58 851 80 87
media@viforpharma.com

Media Relations University of Basel
Matthias Geering
Leiter
Public Affairs, Kommunikation & Marketing
+41 61 207 35 75 /
+41 79 269 70 71
matthias.geering@unibas.ch

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