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Vifor Pharma announces Akebia’s Positive top-line results from global phase-III program of vadadustat for treatment of anaemia due to Chronic Kidney Disease in adult dialysis-dependent patients

·         Akebia’s vadadustat, an investigational oral HIF-PHI, achieves primary efficacy and cardiovascular safety endpoints



St Gallen, 5 May, 2020 – Vifor Pharma announced that its partner, Akebia Therapeutics, Inc., today reported positive top-line results from INNO2VATE, Akebia’s global phase-III cardiovascular outcomes program evaluating the efficacy and safety of vadadustat, an investigational oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor (HIF-PHI), versus darbepoetin alfa for the treatment of anaemia due to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in adult dialysis-dependent patients (DD-CKD).  Upon successful completion of its phase-III program, which includes Akebia’s studies of vadadustat for the treatment of anemia due to CKD in non-dialysis patients, Akebia plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for vadadustat for the treatment of anemia due to CKD in dialysis dependent and non-dialysis dependent patients, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


“We are delighted with the positive top-line data from Akebia’s INNO2VATE global phase-III global study of vadadustat for the treatment of anemia due to CKD in dialysis patients,” comments Stefan Schulze, Vifor Pharma President of the Executive Committee and Chief Operating Officer, “By successfully meeting its primary efficacy and cardiovascular endpoints, we believe the INNO2VATE data positions vadadustat as a potential new oral standard of care for treating all populations of dialysis patients, including both incident and prevalent dialysis patients with anemia due to CKD, subject to its approval. We look forward to working with Akebia to bring vadadustat, upon approval, to our dialysis patients.”


Vifor Pharma was granted an exclusive license to sell vadadustat to Fresenius Kidney Care dialysis centers and to specific third party dialysis organisations that together account for approximately 60% of the dialysis patients in the US, subject to approval of vadadustat by the FDA and its inclusion in Medicare’s bundled reimbursement model for dialysis, or reimbursement using the Transitional Drug Add-On Payment Adjustment (TDAPA), and a milestone payment by Vifor Pharma.


About Akebia’s Global phase-III INNO2VATE Program


Akebia’s public announcement highlighted that its global INNO2VATE program is a cardiovascular outcomes program which includes two separate phase-III studies (Correction/Conversion and Conversion) and which collectively enrolled 3,923 dialysis-dependent patients with anemia due to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Both INNO2VATE studies are global, multicenter, open label (sponsor blinded), active-control (darbepoetin alfa- an injectable erythropoiesis stimulating agent (ESA)), non-inferiority studies. According to Akebia’s announcement: “Vadadustat achieved the primary and key secondary efficacy endpoint in each of the two INNO2VATE studies, demonstrating non-inferiority to darbepoetin alfa as measured by a mean change in hemoglobin (Hb) between baseline and the primary evaluation period (weeks 24 to 36) and secondary evaluation period (weeks 40 to 52). Vadadustat also achieved the primary safety endpoint of the INNO2VATE program, defined as non-inferiority of vadadustat versus darbepoetin alfa in time to first occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), which is a composite of all-cause mortality, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or non-fatal stroke across both INNO2VATE studies. Each analysis was measured against non-inferiority (NI) margins agreed upon with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).”


About Vadadustat

Vadadustat is Akebia’s oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase (HIF-PH) inhibitor currently in global Phase 3 development for the treatment of anemia due to CKD. Vadadustat is designed to mimic the physiologic effect of altitude on oxygen availability. At higher altitudes, the body responds to lower oxygen availability with stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor, which can lead to increased red blood cell production and improved oxygen delivery to tissues. Vadadustat is an investigational therapy and is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any regulatory authority.


Please visit to access the complete public announcement from Akebia Therapeutics, which does not form a part of this release.

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Last Updated: 05-May-2020