Akebia lands $22M round for lead anemia program

Cincinnati, OH-based Akebia Therapeutics is pocketing $22 million in venture funds assigned to its second round. The money is being earmarked for work on new treatments for anemia and vascular disorders. Existing investors Novartis Venture Fund and Venture Investors. Triathlon Medical Ventures, Kearny Venture Partners, Athenian Venture Partners and Sigvion Capital participated in the round along with AgeChem Venture Fund, a new backer.

"This is an important financing event for Akebia because it enables us to complete two phase 2b studies for our anemia drug, AKB-6548 and will position the program for pivotal studies," said Joseph Gardner, Ph.D., the CEO of Akebia. "This financing round also enables us to advance AKB-9778, our novel Tie-2 activator for diabetic macular edema and vascular leak, into the clinic."

Akebia is touting its lead compound, the Phase II drug AKB-6548, as a potentially best-in-class anemia treatment with a potentially improved safety profile, oral dosing and lower cost of goods compared to the ESAs now in the market. Akebia also has a platform of novel Tie-2 activators/HPTPβ inhibitors for the treatment of diabetic macular edema and vascular leak.

- here's the Akebia release