Why Are Akebia Therapeutics Shares Falling Today?

  • Akebia Therapeutics Inc AKBA and Otsuka Holdings OTSKY separately announced to call for licensing and co-development agreement for vadadustat.
  • Otsuka sent a written notice to Akebia on May 12 that the partnership had been terminated. 
  • Akebia said in an SEC filing filed Friday that the termination will go into effect in a year.
  • Related: FDA Places Partial Hold On Vadadustat Pediatric Studies, Akebia Cuts Over 40% Staff.
  • The deal was initially announced in 2016, offering $265 million in committed cash, including $125 million upfront, with another $35 million due in early 2017. 
  • The deal also gave Otsuka US co-commercialization rights for Akebia’s drug, as it paid $105 million to help cover development costs and offered up to $765 million in milestones.
  • Otsuka said, “Otsuka and Akebia had been co-developing vadadustat for renal anemia. However, in March, Akebia received a Complete Response Letter from the FDA. As a result, Otsuka has decided to terminate its co-development of vadadustat and has notified Akebia of the termination of its global license agreements.”
  • Akebia also said in an SEC filing that Otsuka terminated the deal for “alleged material breaches by the Company under the Otsuka U.S. Agreement,” which could force the deal’s end as early as June 12. 
  • Akebia further added that it disagrees and plans to dispute the allegations of “material breach.”
  • Price Action: AKBA shares are down 16.6% at $0.37 during the market session on the last check Monday.

Posted In: BiotechNewsPenny StocksHealth CareContractsMoversTrading IdeasGeneralBriefs