Otsuka in $1-Billion Pact for Anemia Drug
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Otsuka Pharmaceutical has entered into a collaboration and license agreement in the US with Akebia Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for an anemia treatment, vadadustat. Vadadustat is an oral hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) stabilizer currently in development for treating anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The collaboration provides capital for the global development program for vadadustat and commercial resources for a US launch upon approval by the US Food and Drug Administration. Under the agreement, Akebia will receive $265 million in committed funds plus development and commercial milestones, representing a total transaction value that potentially could exceed $1 billion. The $265 million in committed funds includes a payment of $125 million upon signing and a payment of approximately $35 million in the first quarter of 2017. The agreement also provides for Otsuka to pay $105 million or more of the costs of the global development program for vadadustat. Additionally, Otsuka will pay potential development and commercial milestones up to $765 million.

The companies intend to contribute equally to commercialization efforts and share equally all costs and revenue in the US. Akebia will continue to lead the ongoing Phase III development program for vadadustat.

In addition to the collaboration with Otsuka, Akebia has established a collaboration with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation for the development and commercialization of vadadustat in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, India, and other countries in Asia. For other geographies, including the European Union, Akebia continues advancing discussions with multiple potential partners.

Source: Otsuka Pharmaceutical

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