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What: Shares of biotechnology company Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX) soared 22% today after announcing successful results from a phase 2 study of Zerenex, its treatment to manage serum phosphorus and iron deficiency anemia in chronic kidney-disease patients who aren't dependent on dialysis, also known as NDD-CKD.
So what: If approved, Zerenex would be the first oral iron treatment to effectively treat the indication, so the positive results represent one step closer to a possible first-mover advantage. In fact, Keryx estimates that the NDD-CKD patient population stands at more than 1.3 million in the U.S. alone, giving analysts plenty of good vibes over Zerenex's blockbuster potential
Now what: Keryx now plans to meet with the Food and Drug Administration to discuss the data.
"Simply put, the data presented today demonstrate that Zerenex, an oral iron drug that increases iron stores and mitigates the need for IV iron and ESAs, has the potential to change the treatment paradigm for iron deficiency anemia in CKD," co-chairman of the study Dr. Steve Fishbane said. "An oral drug producing these results suggests the potential for a more efficient and safer approach to anemia management than currently offered by today's intravenous therapies."
So while the stock might be too hot and risky for average investors, biotech-savvy Fools might want to take a closer look at Keryx's brightened prospects.