Eisai has announced the successful acquisition of the biopharmaceutical company AkaRx for approximately $255m, and the resulting rights to develop the investigational drug AKR-501.

AkaRx is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Eisai, which confers exclusive worldwide rights to develop, market and manufacture AKR-501, an investigational thrombopoietin receptor that increases platelet production by stimulating megakaryocytic proliferation and differentiation.

Eisai is conducting Phase II clinical trials of AKR-501 in the US as a potential treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and thrombocytopenia associated with liver diseases.

The company has already confirmed proof of concept in the clinical studies for ITP and will also explore the compound’s potential as a treatment for chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia.