SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): November 15, 2018
AKEBIA THERAPEUTICS, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction
245 First Street
|(Address of principal executive offices)
Registrants telephone number, including area code: (617) 871-2098
(Former name or former address, if changed since last report)
Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions:
Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)
Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)
Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))
Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).
Emerging growth company ☒
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☒
Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.
On November 15, 2018, pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated June 28, 2018, as amended October 1, 2018 (the Merger Agreement), by and among Akebia Therapeutics, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the Company), Alpha Therapeutics Merger Sub, Inc., a Delaware corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company (Merger Sub), and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a Delaware corporation (Keryx), the Board of Directors of the Company (the Board) resolved, contingent upon the consummation of the merger contemplated by the Merger Agreement (the Merger), to increase the Boards size from nine to ten directors and elect Adrian Adams to fill the resulting vacancy and serve as the Boards Chairperson effective as of, and contingent upon, the consummation of the Merger.
In accordance with the Merger Agreement, Mr. Adams will serve as a Class III director, whose initial term will be scheduled to expire at the Companys 2020 annual meeting of stockholders. The Board has not yet determined on which Board committees Mr. Adams will serve.
Other than as set forth below, there are no arrangements or understandings with Mr. Adams relating to his appointment as a director, or any related party transactions between the Company and Mr. Adams that are subject to disclosure under Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K.
In connection with Mr. Adams service on the Board, Mr. Adams will be entitled to receive compensation pursuant to the Companys Amended and Restated Non-Employee Director Compensation Program (the Program) applicable to all of the Companys non-employee directors. In accordance with the Program, Mr. Adams will be eligible for an annual cash retainer of $40,000 for serving on the Board and an additional annual cash retainer of $35,000 for serving as Chairperson of the Board and, upon commencement of Mr. Adams service on the Board, he will be granted options to purchase 25,000 shares common stock of the Company. Mr. Adams will also have the same right to indemnification by the Company as granted to the Companys other non-employee directors.
On November 15, 2018, pursuant to the Merger Agreement, the Board designated Maxine Gowen, a current director of the Company, to serve as a member of the Board following the consummation of the Merger. Dr. Gowen will join the other three current directors of the Company previously designated by the Board to serve on the Board of the Company following the consummation of the Merger, as disclosed in the Companys proxy statement/prospectus relating to the Merger: John P. Butler, Scott A. Canute and Cynthia Smith.
Additional Information and Where to Find It
In connection with the proposed merger, Akebia has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) a Registration Statement on Form S-4, which, as amended, includes a final prospectus with respect to the shares of Akebias common stock to be issued in the proposed merger and a definitive joint proxy statement of Keryx and Akebia with respect to the proposed merger. The Registration Statement was declared effective by the SEC on October 30, 2018, and the definitive joint proxy statement was mailed or otherwise made available to Keryxs and Akebias respective stockholders on October 31, 2018. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, KERYXS AND AKEBIAS RESPECTIVE STOCKHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS IN ITS ENTIRETY AND ANY OTHER DOCUMENTS FILED BY EACH OF AKEBIA AND KERYX WITH THE SEC IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROPOSED MERGER OR INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE THEREIN BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION AND THE PARTIES TO THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and stockholders can obtain a free copy of the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other documents containing important information about Akebia and Keryx, once such documents are filed with the SEC, through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. Akebia and Keryx make available free of charge at www.akebia.com (in the Investors section) and www.keryx.com (in the Investors & Media section), respectively, copies of materials they file with, or furnish to, the SEC.
Participants in the Merger Solicitation
Akebia, Keryx and their respective directors, executive officers and certain employees and other persons may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the stockholders of Akebia and Keryx in connection with the proposed merger. Information regarding the interests of such individuals in the proposed merger, by security holdings or otherwise, is included in the joint proxy statement/prospectus relating to the proposed merger that has been filed with the SEC. In addition, security holders may obtain information regarding the names, affiliations and interests of Akebias directors and officers in Akebias Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, which was filed with the SEC on March 12, 2018, and its definitive proxy statement for the 2018 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on April 30, 2018, and information regarding the names, affiliations and interests of Keryxs directors and officers in Keryxs Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, which was filed with the SEC on February 21, 2018, and the Amendment No. 1 on Form 10-K/A, which was filed with the SEC on April 30, 2018, and its definitive proxy statement for the 2018 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on May 31, 2018. To the extent the holdings of Akebia securities by Akebias directors and executive officers or the holdings of Keryx securities by Keryxs directors and executive officers have changed since the amounts set forth in the joint proxy statement/prospectus, such changes have been or will be reflected on Statements of Change in Ownership on Form 4 filed with the SEC. These documents (when available) may be obtained free of charge from the SECs website at www.sec.gov, Akebias website at www.akebia.com and Keryxs website at www.keryx.com.
This document does not constitute a solicitation of proxy, an offer to purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell any securities.
Forward Looking Statements
This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities law. Such statements are based upon current plans, estimates and expectations that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation that such plans, estimates and expectations will be achieved. Words such as anticipate, create, expect, project, intend, believe, may, will, should, plan, could, target, contemplate, estimate, position, predict, potential, opportunity and words and terms of similar substance used in connection with any discussion of future plans, actions or events identify forward-looking statements. All statements, other than historical facts, including statements regarding the ability of the parties to complete the merger; expectations for the combined company; the value proposition of the transaction for stockholders; and the consummation of the merger and the potential benefits of the merger are forward looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Akebias and Keryxs plans, estimates or expectations could include, but are not limited to: (i) Akebia or Keryx may be unable to obtain stockholder approval as required for the merger; (ii) conditions to the closing of the merger may not be satisfied; (iii) the merger may involve unexpected costs, liabilities or delays; (iv) the effect of the announcement of the merger on the ability of Akebia or Keryx to retain and hire key personnel and maintain relationships with customers, suppliers and others with whom Akebia or Keryx does business, or on Akebias or Keryxs operating results and business generally; (v) Akebias or Keryxs respective businesses may suffer as a result of uncertainty surrounding the merger and disruption of managements attention due to the merger; (vi) the outcome of any legal proceedings related to the merger; (vii) Akebia or Keryx may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors, including the receipt by Keryx of a notice letters on October 31, 2018, and November 6, 2018, regarding abbreviated new drug applications submitted to the FDA requesting approval to market, sell and use a generic version of the Auryxia; (viii) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement; (ix) risks that the merger disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the merger; (x) the risk that Akebia or Keryx may be unable to obtain governmental and regulatory approvals required for the transaction, or that required governmental and regulatory approvals may delay the transaction or result in the imposition of conditions that could reduce the anticipated benefits from the proposed transaction or cause the parties to abandon the proposed transaction; (xi) risks that the anticipated benefits of the merger or other commercial opportunities may otherwise not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; (xii) the impact of legislative, regulatory, competitive and technological changes, including the recent changes to reimbursement coverage for Auryxia that could have a material adverse effect on Auryxia sales and profitability; (xiii) expectations for future clinical trials, the timing and potential outcomes of clinical trials and interactions with regulatory authorities; and (xiv) other risks to the consummation of the merger, including the risk that the merger will not be consummated within the expected time period or at all. Additional factors that may affect the future results of Akebia and Keryx are set forth in their respective filings with the SEC, including each of Akebias and Keryxs most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus filed by Akebia and Keryx and other filings with the SEC, which are available on the SECs website at www.sec.gov. See in particular Risk Factors in the joint proxy statement/prospectus, Item 1A of Akebias Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, under the heading Risk Factors and Item 1A of Keryxs Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, under the heading Risk Factors. The risks and uncertainties described above and in the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus, Akebias most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and Keryxs most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q are not exclusive and further information concerning Akebia and Keryx and their respective businesses, including factors that potentially could materially affect their respective businesses, financial condition or operating results, may emerge from time to time. Readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating these forward-looking statements, and not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Readers should also carefully review the risk factors described in other documents that Akebia and Keryx file from time to time with the SEC. The forward-looking statements in these materials speak only as of the date of these materials. Except as required by law, Akebia and Keryx assume no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, even if new information becomes available in the future.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.
|AKEBIA THERAPEUTICS, INC.
|Name: John P. Butler
|Title: President and Chief Executive Officer
Date: November 16, 2018