Akebia Therapeutics and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals merge, creating a $1bn company
Akebia Therapeutics, Inc and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals have announced that the companies are set to merge, creating a fully integrated biopharmaceutical giant in an all-stock merger.
Focused on chronic kidney disease (CKD), with an implied pro forma equity value of approximately $1.3bn, the combined company will be named Akebia Therapeutics, Inc.
Under the terms of the agreement, Keryx shareholders will receive 0.37433 common shares of Akebia for each share of Keryx they own. The exchange results in implied equity ownership in the combined company of 49.4% for Akebia shareholders and 50.6% for Keryx shareholders on a fully-diluted basis, according to a recent press release.
John P. Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia, will lead the combined company, whilst Keryx will appoint the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the combined company. Jason A. Amello, Akebia’s Chief Financial Officer, is expected to serve in the same capacity.
The Baupost Group, L.L.C., who owns up to 21.4% of outstanding Keryx common stock has also agreed to convert outstanding convertible notes of Keryx into shares of Keryx common stock.
Committed to developing and delivering innovative therapeutic products. Keryx’s Auryxia® (ferric citrate) is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medicine to treat dialysis dependent CKD patients for hyperphosphatemia and non-dialysis dependent CKD patients for iron deficiency anaemia (IDA).
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Akebia’s vadadustat is an investigational Phase 3 oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor (HIF-PHI) with the potential to advance the treatment of patients with anaemia due to CKD, many of whom are currently receiving injectable erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs).
If FDA-approved, both have the potential to deliver an all-oral treatment approach for patients with anaemia due to CKD and offer therapeutic options to patients across all stages of CKD.
“The combined company will have an expanded and highly complementary nephrology portfolio,” said John P. Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia.
“Combining Akebia and Keryx creates a leading renal company and provides it with the infrastructure to maximise the market potential of Auryxia and build launch momentum for vadadustat in the United States, subject to FDA approval.”
“Akebia and Keryx bring together assets and capabilities that should lead to new business opportunities and substantial realisable synergies,” added Greg Ciongoli, Partner, The Baupost Group.
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”