Baupost’s Seth Klarman Takes 10% Stake in Keryx Biopharmaceuticals
Klarman made the transaction on April 30, when shares averaged $14.35, making the transaction value $131,325,460. Over the past year, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals’ stock price has increased 55%, including a 5.2% jump on Monday.
Keryx’s share price history:
Klarman has been increasingly interested in pharmaceutical stocks. This year alone he has purchased large stakes in Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:IDIX), Enzon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ENZN) and Kindred Biosciences (NASDAQ:KIN).
Keryx is a $1.16 billion market company that buys and develops drugs to treat diseases that receive less attention from the pharmaceutical community. Its current drug in development is KRX-0502, which could potentially relieve elevated phosphate levels which commonly plague chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis. Keryx is further investigating whether the drug is effective in the further treatment of iron deficiency anemia and elevated phosphorus in non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease patients. Phase 3 of that trial is set to begin in third quarter 2014.
KRX-0502 has completed a U.S.-based Phase 3 clinical program, and a New Drug Application has been filed with the FDA with the goal date of June 7, 2014. Keryx also has plans to submit a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) submission with the European Medicines Agency (EMA). If approved, the company would likely receive authorization by mid-2015.
Keryx’s shares slid substantially last week when it announced its first quarter 2014 financial results lower than analyst expectations. Keryx reported a net loss for the quarter totaling $13.5 million, or $0.15 per share, compared to a net loss of $2.1 million, or $0.03 per share in the prior-year quarter.
Keryx 10-year revenue and earnings history:
Revenue was $10.0 million due to a milestone payment from its Japanese partner JT & Torii, for its drug Zerenex. Research and development expenses also increased by $9.3 million due to preparations for launching the new drug – including opening an office in Boston, where Klarman’s Baupost is based – and submission of its MAA and EMA.
Cash on the company’s balance sheet at the end of the quarter totaled $155.1 million, up from $55.7 million at year-end. The increase came primarily from a $107.6 million underwritten public offering of common stock held in the first quarter. Accumulated deficits stand at $452.9 million.
Keryx has a P/B ratio of 22.2, near a five-year high.
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