on Tuesday won its long fight for U.S. regulatory approval of a treatment designed to help patients with chronic kidney disease. The biopharma company said late Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved tenapanor, marketed under the brand name Xphozah, for control of serum phosphorus in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis. A high level of phosphorus in the blood is often a sign of kidney damage and can lead to weak bones, joint pain, cardiovascular problems and other issues.
The approval concludes an extraordinary comeback for Xphozah. Ardelyx’s application for approval of the treatment was previously rejected by the FDA in July 2021, when the agency said the drug’s effect was “small and of unclear clinical significance.” To preserve cash, Ardelyx a few months later said it would cut its workforce by 65%, but it also pursued multiple appeals of the agency’s decision. An FDA advisory committee voted last November that the benefits of Xphozah outweigh its risks. The agency late last year ultimately granted Ardelyx’s appeal, and the company resubmitted its Xphozah application to the FDA in April. More than 550,000 people in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease and are on maintenance dialysis. The vast majority of them have high phosphorus levels, also called hyperphosphatemia, according to Ardelyx. High phosphorus levels “must be taken care o …