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Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Announces Commercial Launch of AURYXIA(TM) (ferric citrate) Tablets in the United States

NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:KERX) (the "Company") today announced it has begun shipping AURYXIA™ (ferric citrate) tablets to wholesalers in the U.S. Auryxia is approved for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis. Auryxia is the first and only absorbable-iron-based phosphate binder that is clinically proven to effectively control phosphate levels within the KDOQI guidelines range of 3.5 mg/dL to 5.5 mg/dL. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Auryxia in September 2014. For more information visit http://www.auryxia.com/.

"We are extremely proud to bring Auryxia to market in the U.S. Auryxia is a new treatment option for nephrologists that fits squarely into their current treatment protocols," said Ron Bentsur, Chief Executive Officer of Keryx. "We have built a world-class renal commercial team at Keryx and are eager to deliver the first and only absorbable-iron-based phosphate binder to dialysis patients."

"Dialysis patients and their healthcare providers will benefit from having an additional phosphate binder available," commented Julia Lewis, MD, nephrologist and Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Auryxia's clinical profile is compelling and I believe will be of value for my patients."

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) represents the most severe stage of CKD, as many metabolic factors, such as iron and phosphorus, are out of balance. The majority of ESRD patients require chronic treatment with phosphate-binding agents to lower and maintain serum phosphorus at acceptable levels. In addition, iron can be severely depleted in dialysis patients and they therefore are often treated with intravenous iron and other medications. Approximately 450,000 ESRD patients require dialysis in the U.S., with the number projected to rise in the future.

Dr. Geoffrey Block, Director of Clinical Research at Denver Nephrology commented, "I am very pleased to be able to offer my dialysis patients an effective new treatment option. Unlike other phosphate binders, Auryxia is the only absorbable-iron-based phosphate binder."

Commitment to Dialysis Patients

The Company has created the "Keryx Patient Plus" program to assist with patient accessibility to Auryxia. Beginning at the Company's reimbursement hub, personalized service is provided through dedicated regional case managers to provide the renal care team with comprehensive insurance and reimbursement support for their patients. Keryx Patient Plus offers benefit verification, co-pay assistance for eligible commercial patients, free-drug program for those who qualify, and a short-term prescription bridge program that may assist those already on Auryxia who are in danger of suffering a break in coverage.

"Through the work of our field force and the commercialization activities executed to date, awareness and anticipated demand for Auryxia has continued to grow among our target audiences," said Greg Madison, Chief Operating Officer of Keryx. "We intend to build off that momentum to position Auryxia as we develop the potential of this important product in the market."

About Auryxia™ (ferric citrate)

Auryxia™ (ferric citrate) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on September 5, 2014 and is indicated in the U.S. for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis. The U.S. approval of Auryxia was based on data from the Company's Phase 3 registration program. In the Phase 3 clinical trials, Auryxia effectively reduced serum phosphorus levels to within the KDOQI guidelines range of 3.5 to 5.5 mg/dL.

The ferric iron component of Auryxia binds with dietary phosphate in the GI tract, and precipitates as ferric phosphate. The unbound ferric iron in Auryxia has been shown to increase serum iron parameters including ferritin and transferrin saturation (TSAT), whereas these parameters remained relatively constant in patients treated with active control (Renvela® and/or Phoslo®). Iron absorption from Auryxia may lead to excessive elevations in iron stores. Accordingly, physicians should assess and monitor iron parameters before starting and while on Auryxia, and may need to decrease or discontinue IV iron for these patients. The most common adverse events for Auryxia treated patients were gastrointestinal-related, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and constipation.

For more information about Auryxia, visit www.Auryxia.com. For Full Prescribing Information for Auryxia, please visit http://keryx.com/wp-content/uploads/Auryxia_PI_Keryx_112014.pdf.

Auryxia™ (ferric citrate) Important Safety Information

Contraindication: Patients with iron overload syndrome, e.g. hemochromatosis, should not take Auryxia™ (ferric citrate).

Iron Overload: Iron absorption from Auryxia may lead to increased iron in storage sites. Iron parameters should be monitored prior to and while on Auryxia. Patients receiving IV iron may require a reduction in dose or discontinuation of IV iron therapy.

Accidental Overdose of Iron: Accidental overdose of iron containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6 years of age. Keep Auryxia away from children as it contains iron. Call a poison control center or your physician in case of an accidental overdose in a child.

Patients with Gastrointestinal Bleeding or Inflammation: Safety has not been established for these patients.

Adverse Events: The most common adverse events with Auryxia were diarrhea (21%), nausea (11%), constipation (8%), vomiting (7%) and cough (6%). Gastrointestinal adverse reactions were the most common reason for discontinuing Auryxia (14%).

Auryxia contains iron and may cause dark stools, which is considered normal with oral medications containing iron.

Drug Interactions: Doxycycline should be taken at least 1 hour before Auryxia.

For Full Prescribing Information for Auryxia, please visit http://keryx.com/wp-content/uploads/Auryxia_PI_Keryx_112014.pdf.

About Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, headquartered in New York, is focused on bringing innovative therapies to market for patients with renal disease. The Company's FDA-approved product, Auryxia, is indicated in the United States for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis. In January 2014, ferric citrate was approved for the treatment of patients with all stages of CKD in Japan, where it is being marketed as Riona® by Keryx's Japanese partner, Japan Tobacco Inc. and Torii Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. For more information about Keryx, please visit www.keryx.com.

Cautionary Statement

Some of the statements included in this press release, particularly those regarding the commercialization and subsequent clinical development of Auryxia, may be forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Among the factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially are the following: whether Auryxia will be successfully launched and marketed in the U.S.; whether Riona® will be successfully marketed by our Japanese partner, Japan Tobacco, Inc. and Torii Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd; the risk that the EMA may not concur with our interpretation of our Phase 3 study results, supportive data, conduct of the studies, or any other part of our MAA submission and could ultimately deny approval of the MAA; the risk that we may not be successful in the development of ferric citrate for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in non-dialysis chronic kidney disease patients; and other risk factors identified from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements set forth in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We do not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof. This press release and prior releases are available at http://www.keryx.com. The information found on our website is not incorporated by reference into this press release and is included for reference purposes only.

CONTACT: Amy Sullivan, Vice President - Corporate Development and Public Affairs Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Tel: 617.466.3447 E-mail: amy.sullivan@keryx.com

Source:Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.