Akebia Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKBA) Reports A Drop Of 11.94% In 2020 Revenues: Appoints LeAnne M. Zumwalt To The Director Board

Akebia Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKBA) posted total revenues of $25.37 million (down 11.94% YoY) in 2020 and $56.7 million (down 18.47%) in Q4 2020.

Signs a non-dilutive deal

Akebia entered a non-dilutive transaction of $60 million with an entity controlled by HCR (HealthCare Royalty Management, LLC). It helps the company monetize its rights to get sales milestones on the net sales of vadadustat and royalties in collaboration with MTPC (Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation).

Akebia offered exclusive rights to MTPC for the commercialization of vadadustat in Japan. The drug is currently marketed under the trademark Vafseo in Japan and other nations in Asia. As per the terms of the deal with HCR, Akebia will receive an upfront payment of $45 million. It can also receive additional payments of $15 million on achieving certain milestones.

HCR will receive royalties of $13 million annually for offering the sales support for Vafseo under a collaboration accord with MTPC. The maximum royalties to HCR under this deal are fixed at $150 million.

According to the CEO of Akebia, John P. Butler, the company’s accomplishments in 2020 include the execution of commercial priorities and the advancement of vadadustat. In 2021, the company plans for new drug application submission for vadadustat to treat anemia caused by CKD (Chronic kidney disease) in adults undergoing dialysis.

Recruits LeAnne M. Zumwalt

Akebia inducted LeAnne M. Zumwalt to its board of directors recently. He will contribute the experience gained with a large dialysis operator in the US and align the commercial strategies with the requirements of dialysis providers and their patients. His previous stints include GVP (Government Affairs) at DaVita Inc. John said he is pleased with the royalty monetization transaction signed with HCR. The $60 million deal will strengthen its balance sheet.

Akebia will submit NDA for vadadustat in Q2 2021 to the US FDA. The company, along with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, its collaborator, engages in the MAA (Marketing Authorization Application) preparation for submission to the EMA (European Medicines Agency).

Akebia unveiled an online resource – Medical Engagement Hub to connect with healthcare professionals in the US. Houston, Texas-based UTHealth (University of Texas Health Science Center) received government funding of $5.1 million in January 2021 to study and evaluate the efficacy of vadadustat in lessening the severity or preventing ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), a condition caused due to coronavirus.