AstraZeneca Acquires ZS Pharma

November 6, 2015
Randi Hernandez

Randi Hernandez was science editor at BioPharm International from September 2014 to May 2017.

AstraZeneca has agreed to acquire ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion, according to a press release from AstraZeneca. 


AstraZeneca has agreed to acquire ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion, according to a press release from AstraZeneca. 

ZS Pharma’s leading product candidate is ZS-9, its investigational molecule for the treatment of high levels of potassium in the blood, or hyperkalemia. High levels of potassium are typically associated with kidney injuries, heart failure, or type-1 diabetes. ZS-9, which uses a new ion-trap technology, is believed to work by mimicking the function of physiological ion channels in cells. The proprietary ion-trap technology helps maintain electrolyte gradients by facilitating the uptake of extracellular potassium through special crystals with selective pores. The pores are thought to selectively target ions of a specific diameter; for ZS-9, these ions are potassium and ammonium.

“ZS-9 complements the company's increasing focus on CKD [chronic kidney disease] and CHF [chronic heart failure], including the investigational medicine roxadustat, which is currently in Phase III development for patients with anemia associated with CKD, as well as its leading diabetes portfolio,” noted the release.

Upon deal completion, AstraZeneca will wholly own ZS Pharma, which has approximately 200 employees. ZS Pharma’s board of directors has unanimously approved the terms of the agreement.

Source: London Stock Exchange