Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX) announced that the nation’s largest Medicare Part D plan sponsor has added Auryxia® (ferric citrate) to its Medicare Part D plan formularies, effective immediately. Auryxia is currently indicated in the U.S. for the control of serum phosphorus levels in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis. Addition to these Part D plan formularies significantly increases unrestricted access to Auryxia for people on dialysis and their caregivers.
“We are pleased that another large insurance provider has recognized the value that Auryxia can bring to patients,” said Greg Madison, president and chief executive officer of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals. “The addition to these formularies, which covers both the remainder of 2017 and the full year 2018, will support continuing growth of Auryxia in dialysis as well as ensuring that we can provide broad access to Auryxia for people with iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and non-dialysis dependent (NDD) CKD, pending approval of this indication later this year.”
It is estimated that there are approximately 450,000 people in the U.S. who have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and who require dialysis treatment. The majority of ESRD patients require chronic treatment with phosphate-binding medicines to lower and maintain serum phosphorus at acceptable levels. Medicare Part D and commercial insurance companies cover most of the prescription costs for people with ESRD, including the vast majority of phosphate binder prescriptions.
Keryx is seeking a label expansion for ferric citrate to include the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in adults with non-dialysis dependent CKD. A supplemental new drug application is under review by the U.S. FDA, with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date of November 6, 2017 for completion.
Shares of Keryx are currently trading at $6.03 up $0.20 or 3.43%. KERX has a 1-year high of $7.80 and a 1-year low of $4.03. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $5.23 and its 200-day moving average is $5.33.
On the ratings front, Keryx has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on March 1, Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy reiterated a Buy rating on KERX, with a price target of $7, which implies an upside of 20% from current levels. Separately, on January 11, Citigroup’s Yigal Nochomovitz upgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $6.50.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jason McCarthy and Yigal Nochomovitz have a yearly average loss of -10.5% and a return of 0.3% respectively. McCarthy has a success rate of 36% and is ranked #4460 out of 4560 analysts, while Nochomovitz has a success rate of 46% and is ranked #2789.
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the development and commercialization of medicines for the treatment of renal disease. Its products include phosphate-binding medicines, intravenous iron, and other medications.