After ZS Pharma buyout, Relypsa slated to be next on the hit list

John Orwin, CEO Relypsa

As hype around new treatments for the blood disorder hyperkalemia continues unabated after AstraZeneca's $2.7 billion buyout of ZS Pharma last year, Relypsa ($RLYP), which recently won approval for its drug for the condition, is now on the verge of being bought out.

This is according to Reuters, quoting people "familiar with the matter" who wish to remain anonymous, as saying the Redwood City, CA-based biotech is working with investment bank Centerview Partners Holdings to review offers.

"The discussions are in their early stages and may not lead to a sale," the people told the news wire, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

WEBINAR

Webinar: Meet the Challenge of Complex Protein Expression

As market demand continues to rise for more potent and effective therapeutics, biologic pipelines are evolving from standard antibody formats to next-generation biologics (NGBs). In this webinar we will discuss and demonstrate application through case studies, two significant enhancements to Lonza’s GS Xceed® expression system to help address the challenges of NGBs.

AstraZeneca ($AZN) agreed to buy ZS Pharma ($ZSPH) and its lead candidate ZS-9, a late-stage treatment for hyperkalemia, back in 2015.

Hyperkalemia is a disease in which dangerously high potassium levels threaten kidney and heart function. AstraZeneca said global peak sales for ZS-9 could exceed $1 billion a year, with the hyperkalemia treatment market estimated to worth more than $6 billion by some analysts.

Several of the companies that unsuccessfully bid for ZS Pharma--which included Actelion--have reached out to Relypsa, the people said, as they look to tap into this potential new market.

Relypsa's hyperkalemia drug patirome Veltassa won FDA approval in late 2015, although it came with a black-box warning of interactions with oral meds. This may change however as earlier this year the company asked the FDA for an updated label after new trials showed it didn't interact with other treatments as much as first thought.

ZS-9 is currently awaiting a final FDA decision for its treatment, which is expected later this year. A PDUFA goal date for the decision has been set for May 26.

Relypsa saw its shares jump by nearly 68% yesterday, although they fell back slightly this morning.

The company is not commenting on the story.

- check out Reuters story

Read more on

Suggested Articles

Frontage is Growing to Meet All Your Needs! Click Here to Learn About the Next Generation of Frontage.

Cara Care, a digital health startup focused on digestive diseases, raised $7 million to bring its mobile app to more patients in the U.S.

Investors looked past the headline success of Sci-B-Vac, zeroed in on the failure to achieve a secondary objective and sent VBI’s stock down 66%.