Why Akebia Therapeutics Is Soaring Today

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What happened

After announcing that its proposed merger has been completed, shares of Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AKBA) rose as much as 17% in early trading on Thursday. Shares were up about 9% as of 10:55 a.m. EST.

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So what

Akebia Therapeutics and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KERX) announced that they had signed a deal to merge back in June.

Traders appear to be cheering the news that the all-stock deal officially closed today. That bullish move makes some sense when considering that shares of Akebia and Keryx had each decline by more than 25% since the deal was first announced.

Now what

Here's what CEO John Butler had to say about the completed transaction in a press release: "We are very pleased to announce the completion of our merger with Keryx to create a fully integrated renal company that has the potential to set new standards of care for patients with kidney disease. With established renal development, manufacturing and commercial capabilities; strong cash position, a flexible balance sheet and experienced management team, our company is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the significant market opportunity by maximizing the growth of Auryxia (ferric citrate) and build launch momentum for our phase 3 product candidate, vadadustat, subject to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

Now that the deal is officially done, the company can refocus its attention on ramping up sales of Auryxia as quickly as possible and ushering vadadustat through the regulatory review process.

Will the company succeed with both of those initiatives? That remains up in the air, so I continue to believe that caution is warranted.

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Brian Feroldi has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.