Keryx posts 12 percent gain on GSK acquisition talk

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a New York based biotechnology company, gained $0.76 to $7.19 on Friday following media reports that GlaxoSmithKline, Plc, is considering an acquisition of the biotech.

The 12 percent stock gain on Friday represents a $61.9 million gain in market cap for a closing valuation of $585.2 million. GSK declined to comment on the rumors and Keryx could not be reached for comment, BioCentury reports.

In January, Keryx said that its lead compound, Zerenex ferric citrate, met the primary endpoint in a Phase III trial to treat hyperphosphatemia in patients with end-stage renal disease.

"We are thrilled by the robust outcome of this pivotal study for Zerenex, particularly with the magnitude of the drug's effect on iron and anemia parameters, which should prominently differentiate Zerenex versus all the currently marketed phosphate binders," Ron Bentsur, the CEO of Keryx, said, according to BioCentury. "We believe that the ability to treat hyperphosphatemia, while also increasing iron storage parameters and reducing the need for IV iron and (erythopoiesis-stimulating agents), sets a new paradigm for how a phosphate binder can be used to treat patients with end-stage renal disease on dialysis. We believe that these data position Zerenex to potentially become market leader in the phosphate binder market."

Hyperphosphatemia affects patients with end-stage renal disease. There are more than 400,000 people with ESRD in the United States and there are approximately 2.8 million patients with ESRD worldwide.

In the second quarter of 2013, Keryx plans to submit a new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a marketing authorization application with the European Medicines Agency for Zerenex, BioCentury reports.