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Keryx shares soar on kidney drug results

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. soared Monday after the drug developer said its potential kidney disease drug, Zerenex, performed much better than a placebo in a late-stage clinical trial.

The New York company said it plans to submit an application for approval of the drug to both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European regulators in this year's second quarter.

Company shares climbed 37 percent, or $1.27, to $4.70 Monday morning.

Keryx said Zerenex showed a "highly statistically significant" change in serum phosphorus levels compared with a placebo in patients with advanced kidney failure who were on dialysis.

The drug also improved iron levels in patients, reducing the use of intravenous iron and agents designed to treat anemia by boosting the oxygen-carrying component of the blood. The company said that should separate Zerenex from similar treatments on the market.