Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX)
is focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of medically important pharmaceutical products for the treatment of renal disease. Keryx is developing ZerenexTM (ferric citrate), an oral, ferric iron-based compound that has the capacity to bind to phosphate and form non-absorbable complexes. The Phase 3 clinical program of ZerenexTM for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia (elevated phosphate levels) in patients with end-stage renal disease is being conducted pursuant to a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) agreement with the FDA.
At Seeking Alpha, contributor VFC's Stock House argues that investors would be unwise to dismiss Keryx as a company because of the failure of Perifosine, especially given the strong potential of Zerenex.
"Since the Perifisone failure essentially made Keryx a 'one trick wonder' for the time being, the concerns expressed by numerous investors and media outlets regarding Zerenex have mostly been based on the solid entrenchment of Renagel in the market, and the fact that generic competition is just right around the corner. These concerns have been widespread enough to cause the mass exodus of investors and traders that led to last month's share price drop, but they ignore some unique qualities of Zerenex treatment that have not been widely discussed -- and which could offer insight into the product's true market potential."
He points out that while Renagel is "the recognized leader in its field," it also comes with some unpleasant side effects that Zerenex, so far, does not share. Another advantage is that Zerenex is a phosphate binder that is iron based; this may "enable patients to retain iron more efficiently than the competition currently on the market. This could play be key, as many patients on dialysis in end stage renal disease are anemic and are stuck on IV treatment - along with everything else - in order to maintain iron levels."
"It's possible that Zerenex could alleviate the need for the IV and end up being considered one-stop shopping: A package deal that could provide enough of a pricing and logistical boost to make it the preferable treatment of choice. The same cannot be said, at least for the time being, for the competition, generic or not.
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Given those advantages, it may be concluded that Zerenex is positioned to not only heavily compete with the competition currently on the market, but it might also have enough behind it to potentially become the market leader."