Akebia inks expanded development deal with Otsuka for vadadustat ex-U.S. valued as high as $865M; shares ahead 29% after hours

|About: Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. (AKBA)|By:, SA News Editor

Thinly traded micro cap Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA) jumps 29% after hours on robust volume in response to its announcement that it has expanded its vadadustat collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceutical (OTCPK:OTSKY) granting the latter commercialization rights in Europe, China, Russia, Canada, Australia and the Middle East. The companies inked their original deal in December 2016 to co-develop the HIF stabilizer in the U.S.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Akebia will receive at least $208M in committed capital from Otsuka, including $73M upfront and at least $135M of development funding. Akebia is also eligible to receive up to $657M in milestones and royalties up to 30% on net sales of vadadustat in the territories.

Akebia inked a collaboration with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma for the development and commercialization of vadadustat in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, India and certain Asian countries in December 2015.

Vadadustat is an inhibitor of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-prolyl hydroxylase, an enzyme that promotes the breakdown of HIF proteins. HIF is the primary regulator of the production of red blood cells. The body's natural response to anemia is to increase the level of HIF proteins. It is being developed for the treatment of anemia related to chronic kidney disease.

Previously: Akebia inks vadadustat deal with Otsuka Pharma potentially valued at $1B; shares up 32% premarket (Dec. 20, 2016)

Previously: Akebia and Mitsubishi Tanabe ink collaboration deal for vadadustat in Asia; Akebia up 24% premarket (Dec. 14, 2015)