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Akebia Therapeutics Appoints Cynthia Smith to Its Board of Directors

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Akebia
Therapeutics
, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKBA), a biopharmaceutical company
focused on delivering innovative therapies to patients with kidney
disease through the biology of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), today
announced the appointment of Cynthia Smith to its Board of Directors.

"Cynthia is an accomplished leader with an impressive background in the
commercialization of renal disease products and in government affairs.
She will be a valuable advisor, whose expertise is particularly relevant
as we prepare for the commercialization of our Phase 3 asset,
vadadustat, subject to regulatory approval, and work to maximize the
value of Auryxia® (ferric citrate), subject to the
consummation of our merger with Keryx Biopharmaceuticals," said John P.
Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia Therapeutics.

"Akebia is advancing a late-stage investigational drug that has the
potential to change the standard of care for patients with anemia due to
chronic kidney disease, and the company's planned merger with Keryx
Biopharmaceuticals will enable the combined company to be a partner of
choice in the renal space," said Smith. "I'm honored to join the Board
of Directors at this exciting time for Akebia."

Cynthia Smith has more than 20 years of broad leadership experience
within the healthcare industry. She served as Chief Commercial Officer
and a member of the Executive Committee of ZS Pharma, Inc. from 2013 to
2016, where she led efforts to transition the company from a development
stage company to a commercial enterprise. ZS Pharma, Inc. was acquired
by AstraZeneca in 2015. Prior to ZS Pharma, Smith served as Vice
President, Market Access and Commercial Development at Affymax, Inc.,
from 2008 to 2013. From 2000 to 2008, she held various senior leadership
positions in market access, corporate strategy, government relations and
external affairs at Merck & Co. Before beginning her career in the
biopharmaceutical industry, Smith served as a healthcare policy analyst
in the Office of Management and Budget at the White House from 1995 to
2000. In addition to her appointment to Akebia's Board of Directors, she
serves on the Board of Directors of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and
served on the Board of Directors of Nivalis Therapeutics from 2016 to
2017. She earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School and an M.S. in public policy
from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

About Akebia Therapeutics

Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, focused on delivering innovative therapies
to patients with kidney disease through hypoxia-inducible factor
biology. For more information, please visit our website at www.akebia.com,
which does not form a part of this release.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release regarding Akebia's strategy, plans,
prospects, expectations, beliefs, intentions and goals are
forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including but not
limited to statements regarding the value Cynthia Smith will bring as a
member of Akebia's Board of Directors; the closing of the pending merger
with Keryx; the expected benefits of the pending merger with Keryx; and
the potential for vadadustat to provide a new standard of care to
patients with anemia due to chronic kidney disease. The terms "expect,"
"plan," "potential," "target," and "will" and similar references are
intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all
forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Each
forward-looking statement is subject to risks and uncertainties that
could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or
implied in such statement, including those identified under the heading
"Risk Factors" in Akebia's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the
quarterly period ended June 30, 2018, and other filings that Akebia may
make with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") in the
future. These forward-looking statements (except as otherwise noted)
speak only as of the date of this press release, and Akebia does not
undertake, and specifically disclaims, any obligation to update any
forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

In connection with the proposed merger, Akebia and Keryx plan to file
with the SEC and mail or otherwise provide to their respective
stockholders a joint proxy statement/prospectus regarding the proposed
transaction. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, AKEBIA'S AND KERYX'S
RESPECTIVE STOCKHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT PROXY
STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS IN ITS ENTIRETY WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE AND ANY
OTHER DOCUMENTS FILED BY EACH OF AKEBIA AND KERYX WITH THE SEC IN
CONNECTION WITH THE PROPOSED MERGER OR INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE THEREIN
BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED
TRANSACTION AND THE PARTIES TO THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and
stockholders will be able to obtain a free copy of the joint proxy
statement/prospectus and other documents containing important
information about Akebia and Keryx, once such documents are filed with
the SEC, through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov.
Akebia and Keryx make available free of charge at www.akebia.com
and www.keryx.com,
respectively (in the "Investors" section), copies of materials they file
with, or furnish to, the SEC.

Participants in the Merger Solicitation

This document does not constitute a solicitation of proxy, an offer to
purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell any securities. Akebia,
Keryx and their respective directors, executive officers and certain
employees and other persons may be deemed to be participants in the
solicitation of proxies from the stockholders of Akebia and Keryx in
connection with the proposed merger. Security holders may obtain
information regarding the names, affiliations and interests of Akebia's
directors and officers in Akebia's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, which was filed with
the SEC on March 12, 2018, and its definitive proxy statement for the
2018 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with
the SEC on April 30, 2018. Security holders may obtain information
regarding the names, affiliations and interests of Keryx's directors and
officers in Keryx's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year
ended December 31, 2017, which was filed with the SEC on February 21,
2018, and the Amendment No. 1 on Form 10-K/A, which was filed with
the SEC on April 30, 2018, and its definitive proxy statement for the
2018 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on May
31, 2018. To the extent the holdings of Akebia securities by Akebia's
directors and executive officers or the holdings of Keryx securities by
Keryx's directors and executive officers have changed since the amounts
set forth in Akebia's or Keryx's respective proxy statement for its 2018
annual meeting of stockholders, such changes have been or will be
reflected on Statements of Change in Ownership on Form 4 filed with
the SEC. Additional information regarding the interests of such
individuals in the proposed merger will be included in the joint proxy
statement/prospectus relating to the proposed merger when it is filed
with the SEC. These documents (when available) may be obtained free of
charge from the SEC's website at www.sec.gov,
Akebia's website at www.akebia.com and
Keryx's website at www.keryx.com.

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