Otsuka, Akebia Expand Anemia Collaboration in $865-Million Deal

Otsuka Pharmaceutical has expanded a collaboration with Akebia Therapeutics, Cambridge, Massachusetts-headquartered biopharmaceutical company, for vadadustat, an anemia drug, by entering into a collaboration and license agreement for Europe, China and other territories in a transaction worth approximately $865 million.

Under the new agreement, Akebia will receive $208 million or more in committed capital from Otsuka, including $73 million upon signing and $135 million or more of development funding. In addition, Akebia is eligible to receive up to $657 million in milestone payments, representing a total transaction value of approximately $865 million. Otsuka will also make tiered, double-digit royalty payments of up to 30% on net sales of vadadustat in Otsuka’s territory, which includes Europe, Russia, China, Canada, Australia, and the Middle East, but excludes Latin America and other previously licensed countries.

This agreement follows a previously announced collaboration between the companies in December 2016 in which they equally share the costs of developing and commercializing vadadustat in the US and the profits from potential future sales of vadadustat in the renal anemia market. The total committed development funding from all vadadustat collaborations, combined with Akebia’s cash, is expected to exceed $600 million.

Akebia has established three significant collaborations for vadadustat in a little over a year, which together total more than $2.2 billion in potential value and include $573 million or more in upfront payments and committed development funding. In addition to this new agreement and the previously announced US collaboration with Otsuka, Akebia has established a collaboration with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma to develop and commercialize vadadustat in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, India, and select other countries in Asia.

Vadadustat is an oral hypoxia-inducible factor stabilizer currently in Phase III development for treating anemia associated with chronic kidney disease.

Source: Otsuka Pharmaceutical 

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