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About

Our team is bold and optimistic.

Since our founding in 2007, we’ve put tenacity and innovation to work to develop novel therapeutics that have the potential to set new standards of care for people living with kidney disease. We have emerged as a leader with deep roots in the renal community. Today, we are a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with both an experienced nephrology-focused commercial team and a robust development organization. 

We have a commercial product approved and marketed in the United States and a late-stage product candidate. Our lead product candidate, vadadustat, is an investigational oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor (HIF-PHI), currently in global Phase 3 development for the treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney disease.

Vadadustat is an investigational drug and has not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any regulatory authority.

We challenge
the status quo

At Akebia, we are all in on our purpose – to better the life of each person impacted by kidney disease.

We know that big change is possible when we work together, within Akebia and well beyond our four walls. We collaborate with partners around the globe, members of the medical and biopharmaceutical communities, as well as patient organizations.

We are located in the biotech hub of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where we are inspired by our peers and dedicated to working with our partners, patients, advocacy organizations and the broader renal community to better the life of each person impacted by kidney disease.

Management

Our leadership team has a strong track record in developing and commercializing drugs for the treatment of renal and metabolic disorders.

John Butler

President and Chief Executive Officer

Steven K. Burke, M.D.

Senior Vice President, Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer

Michel Dahan

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Tamara Dillon

Senior Vice President of Human Resources
and Chief People Officer

Dell Faulkingham

Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer

Nikki Hadas

Senior Vice President,
Chief Legal Officer and Secretary

David Spellman

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Karen Tubridy, Pharm.D.

Senior Vice President, Global Program Operations and Chief Development Officer

Board of Directors

Adrian Adams, Chairperson

Adrian Adams has served as a member of our Board of Directors since completion of the Merger with Keryx in December 2018. From February 2016 to January 2019, Mr. Adams served as Chief Executive Officer of Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company that focuses on the development, acquisition and commercialization of cardiovascular, pain and other therapies (now Old API Wind-Down Ltd.) and was a member of the Aralez Board of Directors from February 2016 to March 2019. From May 2015 to February 2016, Mr. Adams was the Chief Executive Officer and served on the Board of Directors of POZEN, Inc., a pharmaceutical company which was combined with Tribute Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. to become Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2016. In August 2018, Aralez voluntarily commenced restructuring proceedings in Canadian Court and its U.S.-based subsidiaries, including POZEN, Inc., filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Previously, Mr. Adams served as Chief Executive Officer, President and a director of Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company, from December 2011 until January 2015, when it was acquired by Endo International plc. Prior to these roles, Mr. Adams served in several chief executive officer positions at leading specialty pharmaceutical companies including Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Sepracor, Inc. and Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Adams served as Chief Executive Officer of Neurologix, Inc. Mr. Adams has also held general management and senior international and national marketing positions at Novartis, SmithKline Beecham and Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca). Mr. Adams also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at both AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Impel Neuropharma, Inc. Mr. Adams graduated from the Royal Institute of Chemistry at Salford University.

John P. Butler

John P. Butler joined Akebia as a director in July 2013 and was appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia in September 2013. Prior to joining Akebia, from 2011 until 2013, Mr. Butler served as the Chief Executive Officer of Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Butler led the transactions that resulted in the sale of its hemophilia assets to Cangene Corporation and Baxter International in early 2013 for total aggregate consideration that could exceed $1 billion. From 1997 to 2011, Mr. Butler held various positions at Genzyme Corporation, now Sanofi Genzyme, most recently serving as President of the company’s rare genetic diseases business. From 2002 until 2010, Mr. Butler led Genzyme’s renal division. Prior to his work at Genzyme, Mr. Butler held sales and marketing positions at Amgen and Hoffmann-La Roche. Mr. Butler currently serves on the Board of Directors of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Butler served on the Board of Directors of Relypsa, Inc. From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Butler served on the Board of Directors of Keryx and was Chairman of Keryx’s Board of Directors from 2016 to 2017. Mr. Butler is Chair of Kidney Care Partners and formerly served as a Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Kidney Fund. Mr. Butler received a B.A. in chemistry from Manhattan College and an M.B.A. degree from Baruch College, City University of New York.

Mark J. Enyedy

Mark J. Enyedy has served as a member of our Board of Directors since completion of the Merger with Keryx in December 2018. Mr. Enyedy had served as a member of the Board of Directors of Keryx from September 2017 until completion of the Merger. He currently serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of ImmunoGen, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of antibody-drug conjugate therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, a position he has held since 2016. From 2013 until 2016, Mr. Enyedy served in various executive capacities at Shire PLC including as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Development for Shire plc, a biopharmaceutical company, leading the company’s strategy, merger and acquisitions, and corporate planning functions and providing commercial oversight for the company’s pre-Phase 3 portfolio from 2014 to 2016. Previously, Mr. Enyedy served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc., from 2011 to 2013, following 15 years at Genzyme Corporation, now Sanofi Genzyme, a biopharmaceutical company, in diverse roles, most recently as president of the transplant, oncology, and multiple sclerosis divisions. Before joining Genzyme, Mr. Enyedy was an associate with the law firm Palmer & Dodge. Mr. Enyedy currently serves on the Board of Directors of The American Cancer Society of Eastern New England and served on the Board of Directors of Fate Therapeutics from July 2012 until May 2018. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.S. from Northeastern University.

Steven C. Gilman, Ph.D.

Steven C. Gilman, Ph.D., has served as a member of our Board of Directors since the Merger with Keryx in December 2018. Dr. Gilman had served as a member of the Board of Directors of Keryx from March 2016 until completion of the Merger. Dr. Gilman previously served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of ContraFect Corporation, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of protein and antibody therapeutics for life-threatening, drug-resistant infectious diseases, from July 2016 to April 2019. From February 2008 until January 2015, Dr. Gilman served as Executive Vice President, Research & Development and Chief Scientific Officer of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company developing antibiotics, until its acquisition by Merck & Co. Prior to joining Cubist, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of ActivBiotics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Dr. Gilman worked at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he held a number of senior leadership roles including Vice President and General Manager of Inflammation. Prior to Millennium, he was group director at Pfizer Global Research and Development, where he was responsible for drug discovery of several therapeutic areas, including immunology and antibacterials. Dr. Gilman has also held scientific, business, and academic appointments at Wyeth, Cytogen Corporation, Temple Medical School, and Connecticut College. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Vericel Corporation, SCYNEXIS, Inc., ContraFect Corporation and Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Association, the Penn State University Biotechnology Advisory Board and the Northeastern University Drug Discovery Advisory Board. Dr. Gilman received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in microbiology from Pennsylvania State University, his post-doctoral training at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation and received a B.A. in microbiology from Miami University of Ohio. He has authored over 60 publications and is an inventor of seven patents.

Maxine Gowen, Ph.D.

Maxine Gowen, Ph.D., has served as a member of our Board of Directors since 2014. Dr. Gowen has been Chief Executive Officer of Tamuro Bio since January 2020, was the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Trevena, Inc. from 2007 to October 2018, and has served as a member of Trevena’s Board of Directors since 2008. Dr. Gowen previously held a variety of leadership roles at GlaxoSmithKline, or GSK, over a period of 15 years. As Senior Vice President for GSK’s Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery, she developed an innovative new approach to externalizing drug discovery. Dr. Gowen was previously President and Managing Partner at SR One, the venture capital subsidiary of GSK, where she led its investments in and served on the boards of directors of numerous companies. Dr. Gowen also previously served as Vice President, Drug Discovery, Musculoskeletal Diseases at GSK, where she was responsible for drug discovery and early development for osteoporosis, arthritis and metastatic bone disease. Dr. Gowen served on the Board of Directors of Human Genome Sciences, Inc. from January 2008 to July 2012, when it was acquired by GSK. Dr. Gowen currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. In addition, Dr. Gowen serves on the private company Boards of Directors of Tamuro Bio, Panorama Therapeutics, Inc., and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s Pennsylvania affiliate, LifeSciences Pennsylvania. She previously served on the Boards of Directors of Pagus: Africa and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Dr. Gowen graduated with a B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Bristol, U.K., received a Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Sheffield, U.K., and received an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Michael T. Heffernan

Michael T. Heffernan has served as a member of our Board of Directors since completion of the Merger with Keryx in December 2018. Mr. Heffernan had served as a member of the Board of Directors of Keryx from June 2016 until completion of the Merger. Mr. Heffernan is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc., or Collegium, a specialty pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products for people suffering from pain, and served as its President from 2002 through 2018. Prior to Collegium, he was the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of PreCision Dermatology (formerly Onset Dermatologics), a dermatology focused company that was spun out of Collegium and which was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in 2014. Previously, Mr. Heffernan was Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Clinical Studies Ltd., a pharmaceutical contract research organization that was acquired by PhyMatrix Corp. and later served as President and Chief Executive Officer of PhyMatrix. Mr. Heffernan began his career at Eli Lilly and Company and served in numerous sales and marketing roles. Mr. Heffernan is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Veloxis Pharmaceuticals (OTCMKTS: LFCYF), and a member of the Board of Directors of Trevi Therapeutics, Inc. and Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Heffernan is also on the private company Boards of Directors of Indalo Therapeutics, Inc. and Carisma Therapeutics, Inc. Mr. Heffernan earned his B.S. Degree in pharmacy from the University of Connecticut and is a Registered Pharmacist.

Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers has served as a member of our Board of Directors since completion of the Merger with Keryx in December 2018. Mr. Rogers had served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Keryx from September 2017 until completion of the Merger, and a member of the Board of Directors of Keryx from March 2016 until completion of the Merger. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from November 2017 until October 2019. Prior to Aerpio, Mr. Rogers was Chief Financial Officer of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing and commercializing therapies to treat neurological disorders, from October 2013 to October 2016. From 1999 to 2009, Mr. Rogers was the Chief Financial Officer of Indevus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until the company’s sale to Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He also served as Chief Financial Officer at BG Medicine, Inc., Advanced Health Corporation and Autoimmune Inc. Prior to his roles as chief financial officer, Mr. Rogers was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers and PaineWebber, where he focused on life sciences companies. He previously served on the Board of Directors for EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, formerly pSivida Corp. Mr. Rogers received his B.A. from Union College and an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Cynthia Smith

Cynthia Smith has served as a member of our Board of Directors since August 2018. Since January 2017, she has consulted as a strategic advisor for biotechnology companies. Previously, she served as Chief Commercial Officer and a member of the Executive Committee of ZS Pharma, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company developing therapies for treatment of hyperkalemia and liver diseases, from 2013 to 2016, where she led efforts to transition the company from a development stage company to a commercial enterprise. ZS Pharma, Inc. was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2015. Prior to ZS Pharma, Ms. Smith served as Vice President, Market Access and Commercial Development at Affymax, Inc., from 2008 to 2013. From 2000 to 2008, she held various senior leadership positions in market access, corporate strategy, government relations and external affairs at Merck & Co. Before beginning her career in the biopharmaceutical industry, Ms. Smith served as a healthcare policy analyst in the Office of Management and Budget at the White House from 1995 to 2000. Ms. Smith currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Spero Therapeutics, Inc., and the French-American Foundation, and she served on the Board of Directors of Nivalis Therapeutics from 2016 to 2017. Ms. Smith earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School and an M.S. in public policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

Myles Wolf, M.D., M.M.S.c.

Myles Wolf, M.D., M.M.S.C., joined as a member of our Board of Directors in April 2020. Dr. Wolf has significant experience advising biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic firms on overall strategy, target identification, validation, and clinical drug development. He has served on standing scientific advisory boards for Akebia and Keryx.

Dr. Wolf serves as Chief of the Division of Nephrology and a Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. Since 2002, Dr. Wolf’s research has been supported by grants from the American Heart Association, National Kidney Foundation, American Society of Nephrology, and National Institutes of Health. The focus of his patient-oriented, epidemiological and basic laboratory research is disordered mineral metabolism across the spectrum of chronic kidney disease, including dialysis, kidney transplantation and earlier stages. Dr. Wolf’s research has been published in leading medical journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine; The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Circulation, Cell Metabolism, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and Kidney International, among others. Dr. Wolf has served on the editorial boards for Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Seminars in Nephrology, and Nature Reviews Nephrology, and as Editor of the “Mineral Metabolism” section of Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension. In 2011, Dr. Wolf was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and in 2017, he was elected to the Association of American Physicians and to the Council of the International Society of Nephrology, for which he currently serves as Chair of the North American Regional Board. Dr. Wolf has been the recipient of several teaching, mentoring and research awards.

Dr. Wolf earned his B.A. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University, his M.D. from the State University of New York, Downstate, and his Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical and Physiological Investigation from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wolf completed his internship and residency, and a fellowship in nephrology, at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to joining Duke University in 2016, Dr. Wolf held faculty, leadership and administrative positions at Harvard Medical School, the University of Miami and Northwestern University.

Akebia Therapeutics, Inc.
245 First Street, Suite 1400
Cambridge, MA 02142

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