NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Akebia Therapeutics (AKBA) soared more than 25% on Monday on high volume after UBS initiated coverage on the biopharmaceutical company with a "buy" rating and $28 price target.
"Akebia Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotech company that we believe is well positioned to produce a treatment for anemia that is potentially safer than current products, which have black box warnings for increased death and cardiovascular events but generated >$6bn in sales in 2013," UBS wrote in a research note. "The company's wholly-owned once-daily oral HIF-PH inhibitor AKB-6548 is in Phase-2b for anemia of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Akebia's second candidate, AKB-6899, is in preclinical studies for oncology."
The Cambridge, Mass.-based drug maker went public in March. UBS also outlined the following points to support its "buy" rating:
 HIF activators could become the standard of care in the anemia market if they are approved without the same black box warnings as injectable erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and hence are perceived to be safer than ESAs. The safety of AKB-6548 is supported by clinical and pre-clinical data and the highaltitude literature, which shows no untoward effect of HIF activation.  We see blockbuster potential for '6548 if it is found to be safe and effective. It would be second to market but would be well-positioned among competitors due to attractive once-daily dosing and still be ahead of two additional competitors in a multi-billion dollar market.  Near term ph2b data (4Q14e) could drive a valuation step-up in AKBA shares.  Management has extensive knowledge and experience executing in the CKD segment.
The stock closed up 25.39% to $21.14, a $4.28 increase from its previous close of $16.86. More than 2.9 million hares changed hands, well above the average volume of 423,041. The stock held a range of $17.07 to $23.32 for the day and holds a one-year range of $16.41 to $28.50.
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