Keryx Rises on Results of Phosphorous-Lowering Drug Study

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (KERX) rose the most in almost four years after the company’s drug to help patients with kidney failure remove excess phosphorous from their bodies met goals in final-phase studies.

Keryx increased 77 percent to $6.06 at the close in New York, for its biggest gain since April 2009. Keryx’s ferric citrate, a phosphate binder drug the New York-based company proposes calling Zerenex, is intended for patients on dialysis.

Zerenex demonstrated a “highly statistically significant change” in phosphorus levels versus placebo over a four-week assessment period, Keryx said in a statement today. The medication also decreased the need for intravenous iron and erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, such as Amgen Inc. (AMGN)’s Aranesp and Epogen that each generated revenue of about $2 billion in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“There is a clear need for viable alternatives to the marketed phosphate binders, and Zerenex can play a major role by not only providing adequate phosphate binding, but also providing additional benefits,” Julia Lewis, a professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, and study chair of the Zerenex Phase III registration program, said in the statement.

Zerenex also appeared safe and well tolerated, according to the statement. Keryx said it expects to file by the second quarter an application to obtain a marketing review from the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

Sanofi (SAN), based in Paris, also makes a phosphate binder, called Renvela.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Edney in Washington at aedney@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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