Akebia Therapeutics Inc (AKBA) Shares Take Off on Expanded Deal with Otsuka

It’s a very rewarding trading day for investors in Akebia Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKBA), with shares up over 35%, making the stock Wall Street’s bull of the day. The reason? The biotech announced that it had expanded its collaboration agreement with Otsuka Pharmaceutical. In the new territories covered (China, Europe, Russia, Middle East, Canada, and Australia) Akebia is eligible to receive up to $657 million in milestones payments and double-digit, tiered royalty payments on up to 30% of vadadustat net sales.

“We are very pleased to expand our strategic relationship with Otsuka, a company who shares our vision to improve the lives of patients with kidney disease,” stated John P. Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia. “We now have a single, strong collaborator for the two largest markets, the U.S. and Europe. This simplifies governance and decision making, maximising the efficiency of our global Phase 3 development programme and ultimately the commercialisation of vadadustat. We are able to accomplish this while obtaining substantial funding for our vadadustat development programme and retaining significant long-term value for Akebia.”

On the ratings front, AKBA has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Aegis analyst Difei Yang reiterated a Buy rating on AKBA, with a price target of $25.00, which represents a potential upside of 109% from where the stock is currently trading. On March 9, H.C. Wainwright’s Ed Arce reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $18.00.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Difei Yang and Ed Arce have a yearly average return of 8.4% and 28.9% respectively. Yang has a success rate of 46% and is ranked #535 out of 4571 analysts, while Arce has a success rate of 48% and is ranked #126.

Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company which engages in the development of novel proprietary therapeutics based on hypoxia-inducible factor biology and the commercialization of these products for patients with kidney disease. Its lead product candidate, AKB-6548, is in a Phase 2b clinical trial in patients with anemia secondary to chronic kidney disease who are not dependent on dialysis. 

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