June 29, 2020 at 7:41 AM EDT
First Regulatory Approval for Akebia’s HIF-PHI Marks Beginning of Next Phase of Akebia’s Growth Story
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Akebia Therapeutics®, Inc. (Nasdaq: AKBA), a biopharmaceutical company with the purpose to better the lives of people impacted by kidney disease, today announced the first regulatory approval of vadadustat, its oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor (HIF-PHI), for the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC), Akebia’s collaboration partner in Japan for vadadustat, has obtained manufacturing and marketing approval of vadadustat as a treatment for anemia due to CKD in both dialysis-dependent and non-dialysis dependent adult patients by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan on June 29, 2020. Vadadustat will be marketed by MTPC in Japan under the trade name VAFSEO™.
An estimated 13 million people in Japan have advanced stages of CKD. Anemia is common in patients with CKD and its prevalence increases as CKD progresses. Injectable erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) are currently the standard of care. Vadadustat provides adult patients with a convenient, once-daily oral therapeutic for the treatment of anemia due to CKD in Japan.
“Today’s announcement represents the first regulatory approval of vadadustat and is a significant step forward for patients with anemia due to CKD in Japan,” said John P. Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia. “We believe this milestone marks the beginning of the next phase of Akebia’s growth story and we are excited to support our collaboration partner, MTPC, with the expected commercialization of vadadustat in Japan later this year.”
MTPC filed a Japanese New Drug Application for vadadustat in July 2019. The approval was based on data from the vadadustat development program, including MTPC’s two Phase 3 active-controlled pivotal studies, which support the efficacy and safety of vadadustat in treating both adult patients on dialysis and those not on dialysis with anemia due to CKD in Japan.
Akebia and MTPC entered into a collaboration agreement in 2015 providing MTPC with exclusive rights to develop and commercialize vadadustat in Japan and certain other Asian countries. The regulatory approval announced today triggers a $15 million milestone payment from MTPC to Akebia. In addition, Akebia is eligible to receive up to approximately $190 million in additional milestone payments from MTPC, based upon achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. MTPC is also obligated make tiered double-digit royalty payments to Akebia of up to 20% on sales of vadadustat in Japan and certain other Asian countries, subject to regulatory approval of vadadustat.
Vadadustat is an oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase (HIF-PH) inhibitor currently in global Phase 3 development for the treatment of anemia due to CKD. Vadadustat is designed to mimic the physiologic effect of altitude on oxygen availability. At higher altitudes, the body responds to lower oxygen availability with stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor, which can lead to increased red blood cell production and improved oxygen delivery to tissues. Vadadustat is an investigational therapy and is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
About Akebia Therapeutics
Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with the purpose to better the lives of people impacted by kidney disease. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.