Press Release

Akebia Therapeutics Appoints LeAnne M. Zumwalt, Dialysis Industry Leader, to Board of Directors

February 18, 2021 at 8:00 AM EST

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Akebia Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company with the purpose to better the lives of people impacted by kidney disease, today announced the appointment of LeAnne M. Zumwalt to its Board of Directors, effective February 16, 2021. Ms. Zumwalt was most recently Group Vice President, Government Affairs at DaVita Inc., one of the largest providers of dialysis and kidney care services in the United States.

"We're honored to have LeAnne Zumwalt join the Akebia Board of Directors," said John P. Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia Therapeutics. "Her deep knowledge of and expertise in the U.S. dialysis market, in combination with the financial and public policy leadership roles she has held throughout her career, will be invaluable as we continue to advance our purpose and prepare for the launch of vadadustat, subject to approval."

"I'm excited to join Akebia during what I believe is a pivotal time for the Company and the kidney community," said Ms. Zumwalt. "Having spent the majority of my career working to advance the standard of care for kidney patients, I share Akebia's passion for bringing much-needed innovation to the kidney community. I look forward to helping Akebia deliver on the potential of vadadustat to help kidney patients."

Ms. Zumwalt has spent more than 20 years serving in a broad range of leadership positions at DaVita, which has grown over that time to a healthcare organization with more than 2,750 locations in the United States, caring for approximately 205,000 patients with chronic kidney disease. While at DaVita, Ms. Zumwalt was integral to the development of DaVita's policy strategy for programs such as end-stage renal disease entitlement and Medicare Advantage. Ms. Zumwalt also led corporate purchasing for DaVita, managing supply logistics for dialysis supplies and products, pharmaceuticals, equipment, and other contract services for all DaVita locations. Ms. Zumwalt previously served on the Boards of Directors of Adeptus Health and The Advisory Board Company.

Akebia also announced that Maxine Gowen, Ph.D., will resign from the Board of Directors of Akebia, effective June 6, 2021. Dr. Gowen has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2014.

"Maxine has been a wonderful resource through the development and completion of Akebia's global Phase 3 clinical program for vadadustat," said Adrian Adams, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Akebia. "We are grateful for her service and contributions towards helping Akebia become the company it is today."

About Akebia Therapeutics
Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with the purpose to better the lives of people impacted by kidney disease. The Company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit our website at

Forward Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the advancement of Akebia's purpose and Ms. Zumwalt's ability to contribute to such, Akebia's innovation in the kidney community and vadadustat's ability to help kidney patients. These statements are not historical facts, but instead represent only Akebia's beliefs regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Akebia's control. For a discussion of the risks related to the forward-looking statements in this press release see the "Risk Factors" section of Akebia's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, and other filings that Akebia may make with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the future. These forward-looking statements (except as otherwise noted) speak only as of the date of this press release and, except as required by law, Akebia does not undertake, and specifically disclaims, any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

Investor Contact
Kristen K. Sheppard, Esq.

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