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Company > Akcea Therapeutics Inc: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Akcea Therapeutics Inc: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Jan 08, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into the business model of Akcea Therapeutics Inc and analyze its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through a comprehensive SWOT analysis. As a biopharmaceutical company, Akcea Therapeutics focuses on developing transformative treatments for patients with rare and serious diseases. By examining its business strategy and assessing its competitive landscape, we aim to gain insights into the company's potential growth trajectory and identify key competitors that could impact its success in 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Akcea Therapeutics Inc and how this ownership structure impacts the company's decision-making and operations.
    • The mission statement of Akcea Therapeutics Inc and how it guides the company's overall goals and strategies.
    • The different revenue streams and business strategies employed by Akcea Therapeutics Inc to generate income and sustain its operations.
    • An in-depth understanding of the Akcea Therapeutics Inc Business Model Canvas and how it is used to identify key elements of the company's business model.
    • An overview of the main competitors of Akcea Therapeutics Inc in the pharmaceutical industry and how they compare in terms of market share and offerings.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Akcea Therapeutics Inc, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the competitive landscape.

    Who owns Akcea Therapeutics Inc?

    Major shareholders

    Akcea Therapeutics Inc is a publicly traded company, listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "AKCA." As a result, ownership of the company is distributed among various institutional and individual shareholders.

    One of the major shareholders of Akcea Therapeutics is Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in RNA-targeted drug discovery and development. Ionis Pharmaceuticals holds a significant stake in Akcea Therapeutics, owning approximately 77% of the outstanding shares as of the latest available data. This ownership relationship signifies a close connection between the two companies, as Ionis Pharmaceuticals played a pivotal role in the formation and spin-off of Akcea Therapeutics.

    Other institutional investors

    In addition to Ionis Pharmaceuticals, there are several other notable institutional investors who own shares in Akcea Therapeutics. These include well-known investment firms such as BlackRock, Vanguard Group, and State Street Corporation. These institutional investors bring both financial resources and expertise to Akcea Therapeutics, which can contribute to the company's growth and stability.

    Insider ownership

    Insider ownership refers to the shares held by individuals closely associated with the company, such as executives, directors, and employees. It provides insights into the level of confidence and commitment that those directly involved in the company have in its future prospects.

    While specific details on insider ownership are not readily available, it is common for executives and directors of a company to hold a significant stake in the company's shares. This aligns their interests with those of the shareholders, as they have a vested interest in driving the company's success.

    Public ownership

    Public ownership refers to the shares held by individual investors who are not directly affiliated with the company. It includes retail investors, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles. The level of public ownership can vary depending on factors such as the company's market capitalization, trading volume, and investor sentiment.

    As a publicly traded company, Akcea Therapeutics has a significant level of public ownership. This means that individual investors, including retail investors, have the opportunity to invest in the company and become partial owners. Public ownership provides liquidity to the company's shares and allows for broader participation in its growth and success.

    In conclusion, Akcea Therapeutics Inc is primarily owned by Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which holds a substantial stake in the company. Additionally, other institutional investors and public shareholders contribute to the ownership structure of Akcea Therapeutics. The diverse ownership base brings stability, resources, and expertise to the company, supporting its ongoing operations and growth.

    What is the mission statement of Akcea Therapeutics Inc?

    The Mission Statement of Akcea Therapeutics Inc: Empowering Patients through Innovative Therapies

    Akcea Therapeutics Inc is a leading biopharmaceutical company dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with serious and rare diseases through the development and commercialization of innovative therapies. At the core of Akcea's mission is a commitment to empowering patients, providing them with effective treatment options, and improving their quality of life.

    Akcea's mission statement reflects their dedication to addressing unmet medical needs and developing therapies that have the potential to make a significant impact in the lives of patients and their families. By focusing on rare diseases, which often lack effective treatment options, Akcea aims to fill the gaps in the healthcare landscape and provide hope to those who need it most.

    The company's mission also emphasizes the importance of innovation. Akcea recognizes that by pushing the boundaries of scientific research and development, they can create novel therapies that have the potential to revolutionize patient care. By investing in cutting-edge technologies and scientific expertise, Akcea strives to bring forth breakthrough treatments that can truly transform the lives of patients.

    Furthermore, Akcea's mission statement emphasizes their commitment to collaboration. The company understands that by working in partnership with healthcare providers, patient advocacy groups, and regulatory agencies, they can accelerate the development and commercialization of their therapies. Akcea believes that collaboration is key to overcoming the complex challenges associated with rare diseases and ensuring that patients have timely access to the treatments they need.

    In summary, Akcea Therapeutics Inc's mission statement revolves around empowering patients through innovative therapies. By focusing on rare diseases, pursuing innovation, and fostering collaboration, Akcea aims to make a lasting impact on the lives of patients and contribute to the advancement of medical science.

    How does Akcea Therapeutics Inc make money?

    Revenue Streams of Akcea Therapeutics Inc

    Akcea Therapeutics Inc generates its revenue through various streams. Here are the primary sources of income for the company:

    1. Product Sales: Akcea Therapeutics Inc develops and markets innovative therapies for patients with serious and rare diseases. The company earns a significant portion of its revenue through the sale of its approved products. These products are typically used in the treatment of conditions such as familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) and polyneuropathy caused by hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (hATTR-PN).

    2. Licensing and Collaboration Agreements: Akcea Therapeutics Inc actively engages in partnerships and collaborations with other pharmaceutical companies, leveraging its expertise in RNA-targeted therapeutics. These collaborations often involve the joint development and commercialization of new treatments. Through licensing agreements and collaborations, the company receives upfront payments, milestone payments, and royalties, which contribute to its overall revenue.

    3. Royalties and Milestone Payments: As Akcea Therapeutics Inc continues to advance its drug candidates, it may receive milestone payments from partners upon achieving specific development or regulatory milestones. Additionally, the company may earn royalties on sales of licensed products, providing a steady stream of income.

    4. Research and Development Grants: Akcea Therapeutics Inc actively pursues research and development initiatives to expand its pipeline and enhance its product offerings. The company often secures grants, contracts, and funding from various sources, including government agencies, foundations, and partnerships. These grants not only support research activities but also provide financial resources to sustain operations.

    5. Strategic Partnerships and Investments: Akcea Therapeutics Inc seeks strategic partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies to jointly develop and commercialize novel therapies. Such agreements typically involve upfront payments, milestone payments, and potential equity investments. By forming strategic alliances, Akcea Therapeutics Inc can access additional financial resources while leveraging the expertise and resources of its partners.

    6. Market Access and Reimbursement Agreements: To ensure patient access to its therapies, Akcea Therapeutics Inc engages in negotiations with healthcare providers, payers, and government agencies to secure favorable pricing, reimbursement, and market access. Through these agreements, the company can generate revenue from the sales of its products to a broader patient population.

    By diversifying its revenue streams through product sales, licensing agreements, royalties, research grants, strategic partnerships, and market access agreements, Akcea Therapeutics Inc maintains a sustainable business model while advancing the development of innovative therapies for patients in need.

    Akcea Therapeutics Inc Business Model Canvas Explained


    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that allows organizations to describe, design, challenge, and pivot their business models. In this section, we will delve into the Akcea Therapeutics Inc Business Model Canvas and gain a deeper understanding of how the company operates.

    Key Partnerships

    One of the fundamental elements of Akcea Therapeutics Inc's business model is its key partnerships. The company collaborates with various stakeholders to enhance its capabilities and deliver value to its customers. Akcea Therapeutics Inc has formed strategic alliances with pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, and patient advocacy groups.

    These partnerships enable Akcea Therapeutics Inc to access cutting-edge research, leverage existing infrastructure, and expand its reach in the market. By working closely with other organizations, Akcea Therapeutics Inc can tap into their expertise, share resources, and jointly develop innovative therapies for patients with rare diseases.

    Key Activities

    Akcea Therapeutics Inc's key activities revolve around the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for patients with serious and rare diseases. The company focuses on identifying potential drug candidates, conducting preclinical and clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals, and manufacturing and distributing its products.

    Research and development (R&D) play a crucial role in Akcea Therapeutics Inc's business model. The company invests significant resources in discovering and validating new therapeutic targets, as well as optimizing drug candidates to ensure their safety and efficacy. Additionally, Akcea Therapeutics Inc engages in marketing and sales activities to promote its products and educate healthcare professionals and patients about their benefits.

    Value Proposition

    Akcea Therapeutics Inc's value proposition lies in its ability to develop innovative therapies that address unmet medical needs in patients with rare diseases. By focusing on these underserved populations, the company aims to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

    The core value proposition of Akcea Therapeutics Inc includes:

    1. Patient-centric approach: Akcea Therapeutics Inc prioritizes the needs and well-being of patients, aiming to provide them with effective and safe treatment options.

    2. Expertise in rare diseases: With a dedicated focus on rare diseases, Akcea Therapeutics Inc has developed deep knowledge and understanding of these conditions, allowing them to develop targeted therapies.

    3. Collaborative partnerships: By collaborating with key stakeholders, Akcea Therapeutics Inc leverages collective expertise and resources to accelerate the development and delivery of innovative therapies.

    Customer Segments

    Akcea Therapeutics Inc primarily targets patients with rare diseases who have limited treatment options. These patients often face significant challenges in finding suitable therapies, and Akcea Therapeutics Inc aims to provide them with effective solutions.

    In addition to patients, Akcea Therapeutics Inc also serves healthcare professionals who play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating rare diseases. By providing healthcare professionals with educational resources and support, Akcea Therapeutics Inc helps them make informed decisions and improve patient care.


    The Akcea Therapeutics Inc Business Model Canvas provides a comprehensive overview of the company's operations, partnerships, key activities, value proposition, and customer segments. By focusing on rare diseases and collaborating with key stakeholders, Akcea Therapeutics Inc aims to make a significant impact on patients' lives and advance the field of rare disease therapeutics.

    Which companies are the competitors of Akcea Therapeutics Inc?

    Overview of Akcea Therapeutics Inc.

    Before discussing the competitors of Akcea Therapeutics Inc., it is essential to understand the company itself. Akcea Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It focuses on developing and commercializing transformative treatments for people living with serious and rare diseases. Akcea Therapeutics primarily concentrates on rare lipid disorders, including familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) and familial partial lipodystrophy (FPL). The company's mission is to improve the lives of patients by addressing the unmet medical needs in these areas.

    Competitors of Akcea Therapeutics Inc.

    While Akcea Therapeutics Inc. is a pioneering company in the field of rare lipid disorders, it faces competition from several other biopharmaceutical companies. These competitors strive to develop similar treatments or alternative approaches to address the same unmet medical needs. Some notable competitors of Akcea Therapeutics Inc. include:

    1. Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc.: Ionis Pharmaceuticals, based in Carlsbad, California, is a leading biopharmaceutical company specializing in RNA-targeted therapeutics. It has a strong partnership with Akcea Therapeutics Inc. and collaborates on multiple projects. However, Ionis also develops its own therapies for various diseases, including neurological disorders, cardio-metabolic diseases, and rare diseases. In certain cases, Ionis Pharmaceuticals could be considered a competitor to Akcea Therapeutics.

    2. Aegerion Pharmaceuticals: Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Novelion Therapeutics, focuses on developing therapies for rare diseases, including homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) and FCS. Their lead product, Juxtapid (lomitapide), is indicated for the treatment of HoFH. Although Aegerion Pharmaceuticals primarily targets HoFH, there may be some overlap in the market for lipid disorders where Akcea Therapeutics operates.

    3. Amryt Pharma: Amryt Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company that concentrates on developing innovative treatments for rare and orphan diseases. Their portfolio includes therapies for rare lipid disorders such as HoFH and FCS. Amryt Pharma's lead product, Lojuxta (lomitapide), is indicated for the treatment of HoFH. As both Akcea Therapeutics and Amryt Pharma target similar lipid disorders, they can be considered competitors.

    4. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is a well-established biotechnology company that develops and commercializes therapies for various diseases. While they have a broad pipeline, their product Praluent (alirocumab) is used for treating high cholesterol, including familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Although Regeneron Pharmaceuticals may not specialize solely in rare lipid disorders like Akcea Therapeutics, their product Praluent does have some overlap in the market.

    It is important to note that the competitive landscape in the biopharmaceutical industry is constantly evolving. New companies and therapies may emerge, and existing competitors may change their focus or collaborate in the future. Therefore, it is crucial for Akcea Therapeutics Inc. and its competitors to adapt and innovate to stay ahead in this dynamic market.

    Akcea Therapeutics Inc SWOT Analysis


    • Strong partnership with Ionis Pharmaceuticals: Akcea Therapeutics Inc has a strategic partnership with Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a leading biotechnology company known for its expertise in antisense drug discovery and development. This partnership provides Akcea with access to Ionis' proprietary technology and enables them to develop innovative therapeutics for patients with rare diseases.

    • Focus on rare diseases: Akcea Therapeutics Inc specializes in the development and commercialization of therapies for rare diseases. By focusing on this niche market, the company can address unmet medical needs and potentially achieve higher profit margins due to limited competition.

    • Diverse and promising pipeline: The company has a diverse pipeline of drug candidates targeting various rare diseases, including familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS), hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (hATTR), and rare lipid disorders. Some of these candidates have already shown promising results in clinical trials, indicating the potential for future success.

    • Experienced management team: Akcea Therapeutics Inc has a highly experienced management team with backgrounds in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and rare disease therapeutics. This expertise enables the company to navigate the complex regulatory landscape, make informed strategic decisions, and effectively execute their drug development and commercialization strategies.


    • Limited product portfolio: Despite having a diverse pipeline, Akcea Therapeutics Inc currently has a limited number of approved products in the market. This lack of a robust product portfolio can make the company vulnerable to market fluctuations and revenue volatility.

    • Reliance on partners for commercialization: Akcea relies on partners, such as Ionis Pharmaceuticals and other pharmaceutical companies, for the commercialization of their products. While partnerships can provide access to resources and expertise, they also introduce a level of dependency on external parties, potentially limiting the company's control over marketing and sales strategies.


    • Growing demand for rare disease therapies: The market for rare disease therapies is expanding due to increased awareness, improved diagnostics, and evolving regulatory incentives. Akcea Therapeutics Inc, with its focus on rare diseases, is well-positioned to capitalize on this growing demand and potentially gain a significant market share.

    • Expansion into international markets: Currently, Akcea primarily operates in the United States. However, there is an opportunity for the company to expand its presence into international markets where the prevalence of rare diseases may be higher. By entering new markets, Akcea can access a larger patient population and diversify its revenue streams.


    • Intense competition: The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are highly competitive, with numerous companies vying for market share in the rare disease space. Akcea Therapeutics Inc faces the threat of competition from both existing and emerging players, who may develop similar or more advanced therapies for the same rare diseases.

    • Stringent regulatory requirements: Developing and commercializing therapies for rare diseases often involves navigating complex regulatory pathways. Akcea Therapeutics Inc faces the threat of regulatory challenges, such as stringent approval processes, safety concerns, and potential delays in bringing their drug candidates to market. Compliance with these regulations can significantly impact the company's timelines and financial resources.

    • Pricing and reimbursement pressures: Rare disease therapies are often priced at a premium due to the high cost of development, limited patient population, and the need for specialized care. However, Akcea Therapeutics Inc may face challenges in securing optimal pricing and reimbursement agreements with payers and government agencies. Pricing pressures and reimbursement restrictions can impact the company's profitability and market access.

    Key Takeaways

    • Akcea Therapeutics Inc is owned by Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company that focuses on discovering and developing RNA-targeted therapeutics.
    • The mission statement of Akcea Therapeutics Inc is to transform the lives of patients with serious and rare diseases by developing and commercializing innovative medicines.
    • Akcea Therapeutics Inc makes money through the commercialization of their approved drugs, licensing collaborations, and milestone payments from their partners.
    • The business model canvas of Akcea Therapeutics Inc includes key elements such as value proposition, customer segments, channels, revenue streams, and key activities.
    • Competitors of Akcea Therapeutics Inc include other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that focus on developing treatments for similar rare diseases, such as Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

    SWOT Analysis of Akcea Therapeutics Inc:

    • Strengths: Strong partnership with Ionis Pharmaceuticals, innovative pipeline of RNA-targeted therapeutics, commercialized drugs with revenue generation potential.
    • Weaknesses: Limited product portfolio, dependence on licensing collaborations and partnerships for revenue, vulnerability to competitive pressures.
    • Opportunities: Growing market for rare disease treatments, potential for expanding into new therapeutic areas, increasing demand for personalized medicine.
    • Threats: Intense competition from other biotech and pharmaceutical companies, regulatory challenges and uncertainties, potential intellectual property disputes.


    In conclusion, Akcea Therapeutics Inc is a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the development and commercialization of drugs to treat rare and serious diseases. The company was originally founded as a subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals but became an independent entity in 2017. Currently, the majority ownership of Akcea Therapeutics Inc is held by Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

    The mission statement of Akcea Therapeutics Inc is to transform the lives of patients with serious and rare diseases by developing and delivering innovative treatments. They are committed to creating value for patients, healthcare professionals, and shareholders through their dedication to research, development, and commercialization.

    Akcea Therapeutics Inc generates revenue through the sale of their approved drugs and through collaboration agreements with other pharmaceutical companies. They have a diverse portfolio of drugs in various stages of development, targeting a wide range of diseases.

    The Business Model Canvas of Akcea Therapeutics Inc outlines their key activities, resources, and partnerships that enable them to create value and generate revenue. This includes activities such as research and development, clinical trials, regulatory affairs, and marketing and sales. Their partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations also play a crucial role in their business model.

    In terms of competition, Akcea Therapeutics Inc faces competition from other biopharmaceutical companies that are also developing treatments for rare and serious diseases. Some of their main competitors include Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, and Moderna Therapeutics. The competitive landscape in this industry is constantly evolving, and Akcea Therapeutics Inc strives to differentiate itself through its innovative treatments and strong clinical data.

    In conducting a SWOT analysis of Akcea Therapeutics Inc, we can identify their strengths such as their strong pipeline of drugs, their focus on rare diseases, and their partnership with Ionis Pharmaceuticals. However, they also face weaknesses such as their dependence on a limited number of drugs for revenue and the need for regulatory approvals. Opportunities for growth include expanding into new markets and therapeutic areas, while threats include competition and regulatory challenges.

    Overall, Akcea Therapeutics Inc is a promising biopharmaceutical company with a clear mission, a solid business model, and a competitive position in the market. As they continue to develop and commercialize innovative treatments, they have the potential to make a significant impact in the lives of patients with rare and serious diseases.


    What is a SWOT analysis for a medical company?

    A SWOT analysis for a medical company involves identifying its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. Here is an example of a SWOT analysis for a medical company:


    1. Reputation: The company has a strong reputation for providing quality healthcare services.
    2. Skilled workforce: The company has a team of highly skilled and experienced medical professionals.
    3. Advanced technology: The company utilizes cutting-edge medical technology and equipment.


    1. Limited geographical reach: The company's services are currently available only in certain regions, limiting its market potential.
    2. High operating costs: The company faces challenges in managing and reducing its operating costs.
    3. Lack of diversification: The company is heavily dependent on a few specific services or specialties, making it vulnerable to changes in demand.


    1. Market expansion: The company can explore opportunities to expand its services into new geographical areas or target new customer segments.
    2. Technological advancements: The company can leverage emerging technologies to enhance patient care, improve operational efficiency, and develop innovative solutions.
    3. Aging population: The increasing aging population presents opportunities for the company to offer specialized services and products to cater to their specific needs.


    1. Regulatory changes: Changes in healthcare regulations and policies can impact the company's operations and profitability.
    2. Competition: The company faces intense competition from other medical providers, including hospitals, clinics, and telehealth services.
    3. Economic downturn: During an economic downturn, the demand for medical services may decline, affecting the company's revenue.

    It is important to note that a SWOT analysis should be tailored to the specific circumstances and goals of the medical company being analyzed.

    Which is an example of an opportunity in the SWOT analysis of a health care facility?

    One example of an opportunity in the SWOT analysis of a health care facility could be the increasing demand for specialized medical services. This could include the opportunity to expand and offer new services that cater to specific medical needs or conditions, which could attract more patients and generate higher revenues for the facility.

    What is a SWOT analysis of any existing business idea product service?

    SWOT analysis stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the internal and external factors that could impact the success of a business idea, product, or service. Here is an example of a SWOT analysis for an existing business idea:


    1. Unique selling proposition: The business idea offers a product/service that stands out from competitors.
    2. Strong brand reputation: The business has built a positive image and trust among customers.
    3. Skilled workforce: The company has a highly skilled and experienced team.
    4. Efficient production process: The business has implemented streamlined processes to ensure cost-effective production.
    5. Established distribution network: The company has secured partnerships with reliable distribution channels.


    1. Limited financial resources: The business lacks sufficient funding to invest in expansion or marketing efforts.
    2. Dependence on key employees: The success of the business heavily relies on a few key individuals, which poses a risk if they were to leave.
    3. Weak online presence: The business struggles to establish a strong online presence, limiting its reach to potential customers.
    4. Lack of product diversification: The company relies heavily on a single product/service, making it vulnerable to market fluctuations.
    5. Slow response to market trends: The business takes longer to adapt to changing customer preferences, causing potential loss of market share.


    1. Untapped markets: The business can expand its reach to new geographic regions or target niche markets.
    2. Technological advancements: The company can leverage emerging technologies to enhance its product/service or streamline operations.
    3. Changing consumer trends: The business can capitalize on new trends, such as increased demand for eco-friendly products/services.
    4. Collaborations and partnerships: The business can form strategic alliances with complementary businesses to expand its customer base.
    5. Growing online sales: The business can invest in e-commerce platforms to tap into the increasing trend of online shopping.


    1. Intense competition: The market is saturated with competitors offering similar products/services, making it challenging to differentiate.
    2. Economic downturn: A recession or economic instability could lead to a decrease in consumer spending, impacting the business's sales.
    3. Legal and regulatory changes: Changes in regulations or compliance requirements can pose challenges to the business's operations.
    4. Emerging substitutes: New alternatives or substitutes to the product/service may enter the market, threatening the business's market share.
    5. Negative publicity or online reviews: Negative customer reviews or public relations issues can damage the business's reputation and affect sales.

    Who owns SWOT analysis?

    SWOT analysis is a widely-used strategic planning tool that is not owned by any individual or organization. It was developed in the 1960s by Albert Humphrey, a management consultant at Stanford Research Institute, but since then it has become a common practice used by organizations and individuals worldwide. The concept and methodology of SWOT analysis are freely available for anyone to use and apply to their specific needs.

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