CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PBM Capital, a private investment firm primarily focused on healthcare-related investments, today announced that one of its affiliates has acquired all of the shares of AkaRx, Inc. from Eisai Inc. Under the agreement, Eisai Inc. transferred to PBM ownership of AkaRx and the worldwide rights to develop, market and manufacture avatrombopag. An investigational small molecule thrombopoietin (TPO) agonist, avatrombopag is currently being evaluated in two global Phase 3 studies under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a potential treatment for thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic liver disease undergoing an elective procedure.
“We are excited to have acquired this late-stage drug candidate and to complete the Phase 3 clinical trials because we believe it is a potentially revolutionary product that could provide significant benefits to a large number of patients around the world,” said Paul Manning, president and chief executive officer of PBM. “Hepatologists and hematologists are highly aware of the diminishing benefits of platelet transfusions and would welcome an alternative method of raising platelet counts. Decreasing the need for platelet transfusions could facilitate patient management, improve outcomes, and reduce overall healthcare costs.”
Treatment of thrombocytopenia (a deficiency of platelets in the blood) to enable elective surgery for patients with chronic liver disease remains a significant unmet medical need, as no drug is currently approved for this indication in the U.S. or EU. Platelet transfusions, the current standard of care, are associated with various clinical complications and approximately 50 percent of patients who receive platelet transfusions are refractory.
Avatrombopag is an investigational oral thrombopoietin receptor agonist. It is believed to stimulate platelet production by acting on megakaryocytes and their precursors. Avatrombopag is currently being investigated in Phase 3 clinical studies in the United States, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia as a potential treatment for thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic liver disease prior to undergoing an elective procedure. The drug was previously studied in 14 Phase 1 studies and four Phase 2 studies. Results demonstrated proof-of-concept and showed the drug was generally well tolerated.
About PBM Capital Group
PBM Capital is a private investment firm primarily focused on healthcare-related investments. Led by Paul Manning, a successful entrepreneur, PBM Capital partners with exceptional scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs who have developed game-changing technology that can improve and save the lives of millions of people. PBM has several investments in clinical-stage and pre-clinical drug and biologics companies. These include AveXis (NASDAQ: AVXS; www.avexis.com), which is developing a gene therapy product for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy type 1, Xalud Therapeutics, Inc. (www.xaludthera.com), which is developing novel therapies for pain management and the treatment of neuro-inflammatory diseases, and Sensulin, LLC (www.sensulin.com), which is developing a once-a-day glucose responsive insulin. Visit www.pbmcap.com for more information.