Akebia Therapeutics Inc ( NASDAQ: AKBA) shares shot up Tuesday after it struck an exclusive license agreement with Vifor Pharma Group to sell lead candidate vadadustat, once approved, to Fresenius Medical Care dialysis clinics.
The deal will provide vadadustat to Fresenius Medical Care in the USA when the FDA has approved it.
Vadadustat is an oral, investigational hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) stabilizer currently in Phase 3 development for the treatment of anemia related to chronic kidney disease.
Shares in Akebia are up over 14% at the time of writing, at $14.75.
Vifor Pharma will also make a $50 million equity investment in Akebia at $14 per share, it said.
Vadadustat could represent a significant advancement in the treatment of renal anemia with the potential to establish a new treatment paradigm and overcome the limitations of current therapies for patients with chronic kidney disease," said Stefan Schulze, Chief Operating Officer of Vifor Pharma
He added: "This transaction strengthens the nephrology product portfolio of Vifor Pharma, and is consistent with our ongoing commitment to deliver innovative products that can improve the lives of patients suffering with chronic kidney disease.”
"This agreement provides the opportunity to build greater commercial momentum for vadadustat in the U.S. rapidly upon launch,” said John P. Butler, president and chief executive of Akebia.
"We are pleased that Vifor Pharma has selected vadadustat as its exclusive HIF product for distribution to Fresenius Medical Care, one of the largest dialysis providers. We believe that this commitment provides significant further validation of vadadustat’s potential.”