Takeda, Affymax nail supply deal for Omontys anemia drug

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Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Affymax ($AFFY) have sewn up another supply deal for their anemia drug Omontys. DSI Renal, one of the largest dialysis providers in the U.S., agreed to adopt Omontys to treat their patients with chronic kidney disease. It's another step forward for the companies in their bid to challenge Amgen's ($AMGN) hold on the anemia-treatment market.

Jeff Knapp, Affymax chief commercial officer, said, "This is of particular importance because it represents one of the largest dialysis providers in the U.S. DSI is probably closing in on 6,500 to 7,000 patients a year and we are delighted to have them use Omontys." Knapp, who was in San Francisco to present at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, said Affymax is hopeful the relationship will move rapidly from a pilot experience to a larger commercial relationship after DSI gets experience with the drug. 

Developed by Affymax, Omontys was approved by FDA last March, becoming the first erythropoiesis-stimulating agent totally independent of Amgen, which markets Epogen and Aranesp, and partners with Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) on Procrit. It's also the first to be injected once a month, rather than weekly or more often. It's also priced lower than Epogen, analysts say. Takeda is Affymax's marketing partner.

Affymax inked a deal with Fresenius, another big player in the dialysis market, in July. At the time, Fresenius said it would roll out Omontys at more than 100 dialysis centers and then expand use from there. The DSI deal is similar, with the provider planning to test Omontys at selected centers before adding it to the offerings across the company. Both deals include discounts and rebates; financial terms haven't been disclosed.

The DSI contract puts Omontys in 5 of the 6 medium-sized dialysis organizations in the U.S., Affymax CEO John Orwin said in a statement. For the third quarter, Omontys racked up $15 million in sales, its first full quarter on the market.

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