May 23, 2018 / 11:13 AM / 2 years ago

Cara Therapeutics signs licensing deal with Vifor Fresenius, shares surge

(Reuters) - Shares of Cara Therapeutics surged more than 20 percent on Wednesday after it signed a licensing agreement with Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Ltd that could give the U.S. drug developer up to $470 million in milestone payments.

The deal gives the kidney drug developer worldwide rights, except in the United States, Japan and South Korea, to sell Korsuva, Cara’s injection for severe itching associated with chronic kidney disease in dialysis patients.

Cara will get an upfront payment of $50 million in cash and an equity investment of $20 million to acquire common stock at a price of about $17 per share, a premium of about 47 pct to its closing on Tuesday.

Cara began the first late-stage study for Korsuva injection in January and expects to start a similar study globally later in the year.

Reporting by Mrinalini Krothapalli

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