$6.39 $0.04 (0.6%)

04:00 PM EST on 12/13/19

Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA)

CAPS Rating: 3 out of 5

Current Price $6.39 Mkt Cap $760.0M
Open $6.33 P/E Ratio 0.00
Prev. Close $6.35 Div. (Yield) $0.00 (0.0%)
Daily Range $6.18 - $6.45 Volume 1,248,287
52-Wk Range $2.99 - $9.30 Avg. Daily Vol. 1,462,256


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Top NASDAQ:AKBA Bull/Bear Pitches

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zzlangerhans (99.67)
Submitted December 23, 2016

I'm not the kind of narcissistic psychopath who enjoys leading a Twitter stock cult, but if I was my chosen stock would be Akebia. I closed my recent outperform rating at a big loss in order to write an updated pitch, but in real life zzporte… More

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Recent Community Commentary

Read the most recent pitches from players about AKBA.


Member Avatar pataylo (43.21) Submitted: 4/22/2019 10:47:42 PM : Outperform Start Price: $6.44 NASDAQ:AKBA Score: -9.68

It's a gamble, but it has promising products under development


Member Avatar suspiciousmole (< 20) Submitted: 4/7/2019 8:04:53 AM : Outperform Start Price: $7.00 NASDAQ:AKBA Score: -18.85

Investing in small biotechs reminds me of watching Dave Kingman swing the bat- the result was either a strikeout or a homerun with many more of the former. With that caveat in mind this is what I like about AKBA. It is well capitalized having partnerships with larger companies in different markets. I think- and hope I'm wrong- the incidence of CRF is likely to increase. The next time you drive by a schoolyard observe how many of our children are obese- obesity leads to type 2 diabetes and hypertension- the 2 leading causes of CRF. It is therefore likely we will need drugs that treat the associated anemia- particularly if they have fewer side effects than the erythropoetin-oriented drugs. Given the likely expanding market it is also likely that several of the Big Pharma companies will want a horse in this race. Some of them have their own drugs in development and some don't. If I'm the ceo of one of these have-not companies and I want to be competitive in this space I'm likely to look to acquire a smaller company with a drug in phase 3 studies that has shown proven efficacy. I may even be willing to pay a premium price for it.


Member Avatar zzlangerhans (99.67) Submitted: 12/22/2016 10:03:57 PM : Outperform Start Price: $10.63 NASDAQ:AKBA Score: -80.63

I'm not the kind of narcissistic psychopath who enjoys leading a Twitter stock cult, but if I was my chosen stock would be Akebia. I closed my recent outperform rating at a big loss in order to write an updated pitch, but in real life zzporte currently owns 7000 shares cost basis 9.74 and we will likely be adding to that position in the near future.

Akebia's valuation is based on lead drug vadadustat, a HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor being developed as an upgrade from ESA's for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic kidney disease. One thing about the stock is that over the last couple of years, no positive catalyst has been able to create a sustained bump in the share price. The stock has been uninflatable since dropping over 50% in October 2014 due to a three drug-related adverse events, one of which was a death, in a phase IIb trial of vadadustat in anemia of non-dialysis chronic kidney disease. That's understandable, but in September 2015 the company reported there were no drug-related adverse events in a successful phase II trial of vadadustat for dialysis patients. The stock spiked, but soon filled the gap and declined lower than it had been before the positive result. At that time, the bear thesis seemed to be a lack of big pharma partners. Meanwhile, competitor FibroGen's HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor roxadustat was globally partnered with Astellas and Astra Zeneca. Perhaps that's why Fibrogen had a market cap five times the size of Akebia, despite being at approximately the same stage of development.

Just a few months later, in December, Akebia announced partnership with Mitsubishi Tanabe for vadadustat in Japan, India and some smaller Asian countries. Akebia received 40M upfront, 60M for phase III costs, up to 250M in developmental and sales milestones, and tiered double digit royalties. Once again the share price spiked and then retraced to lower levels than previously. What was the bear thesis now? Crickets.

All was quiet until this week when Akebia announced another partnership, this time with Otsuka, for a 50/50 split of the future US revenues and cost of sales for vadadustat. In return, Akebia will receive 125M immediately, 35M in Q1 2017, and 105M contribution to the global development program. There is also a provision for up to 765M in developmental and commercial milestones. Vadadustat remains unpartnered in Europe and all other countries outside of the US and East Asia. One potential overhang for the stock is an IP dispute with FibroGen in the EU, although recent court rulings have been going Akebia's way.

When the share price spiked over 12 from the mid 8's the morning the deal was announced, I foolishly thought this would be the end of Akebia's days in the cold and added shares at 11.5 and then again at 10.5 Shortly after the open, the share price dropped as low as 9.4. Now the share price seems to be fluctuating in the 10's but I wouldn't be surprised to see it below 10 again soon. At 10, Akebia has a market cap of 383M. I haven't done a DCF analysis to calculate what I think the fair value of the stock should be. I think that kind of analysis is fraught with margins for error. However, I'll point out that the difference between a share price of eight and ten is 77M. That means Akebia has added 77M in market cap for a deal that provides guaranteed funding of 265M, 160M of it in upfront cash that will be recognized within three months. It also means that Otsuka values the rights to half the US market at a minimum of 265M, and is still willing to pay half the cost of sales to get the future revenues. Furthermore, if Otsuka is correct about the value of the US market for vadadustat, they are apparently willing to pay another 765M if the drug meets their sales expectations. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi has valued 80-90% of the east Asian market [exclusive of China] at a minimum of 100M and as much as 350M. Akebia has shown a willingness and a capability to partner vadadustat so one can only conclude that negotiations for an EU partnership are ongoing. The company stated as much in a recent e-mail interview with Adam Feuerstein. Speaking of Adam, he's been positive about Akebia since this mailbag in October 2015 https://www.thestreet.com/story/13309166/1/biotech-stock-mailbag-akebia-neuralstem-arrowhead.html . Anyone who trades biotech knows that Adam is a lot more likely to be negative than positive about a small cap biotech stock, and if he's negative then watch out below. Finally, Akebia had 161M in cash at the end of September and has been burning 20-25M per quarter.

So what exactly is the thesis that Akebia should be a sub 400M market cap stock? Admittedly it will be a couple of years before the phase III trials have read out and regulatory submissions are in progress, but the same applies to FibroGen and other potential competitors. There's always the possibility that the drug blows up, but clearly Mitsubishi and Otsuka have vetted it and feel comfortable making large frontended deals for it. Please, if you know what I'm missing here, let me know. In the meantime I'm planning to add again if the stock dips below 10 tomorrow and I look forward to building this position into the most oversized zzporte position since Tekmira.


Find the members with the highest scoring picks in AKBA.

Score Leader


TotoMMB (89.59) Score: +100.55

The Score Leader is the player with the highest score across all their picks in AKBA.

Member Name Member
Call Time
Score Commentary
ak1010 99.83 11/14/2019 Outperform 5Y $3.27 +95.41% +2.76% +92.66 0 Comment
NextGenStock < 20 8/7/2019 Outperform 5Y $3.61 +77.01% +10.61% +66.40 0 Comment
Under5 < 20 11/6/2019 Outperform 5Y $3.85 +65.97% +3.34% +62.63 0 Comment
This player feels very strongly about this pick and has marked it a Top Pick. Top Picks do not affect a player’s score. gpierson128 98.78 1/14/2019 Underperform 5Y $6.18 +3.40% +23.53% +20.13 0 Comment
gunda7907 < 20 5/28/2019 Outperform 5Y $5.28 +21.02% +11.99% +9.04 0 Comment
conliskjr < 20 12/31/2018 Outperform 3Y $5.37 +18.99% +27.14% -8.15 0 Comment
pataylo 43.21 4/23/2019 Outperform 5Y $6.44 -0.78% +8.90% -9.68 1 Comment
bsharvy 90.96 4/22/2019 Outperform 5Y $6.52 -1.99% +9.47% -11.47 0 Comment
suspiciousmole < 20 4/8/2019 Outperform 5Y $7.00 -8.71% +10.14% -18.85 1 Comment
PHIL1120 66.41 1/11/2019 Outperform 1Y $6.24 +2.40% +23.14% -20.73 0 Comment

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