Ironwood Pharma Tie Up with Astrazeneca Redeems Life of Gout Patients
Zurampic (Lesinurad) – A URAT1 inhibitor drug, finds its place in US as Ironwood Pharmaceuticals buys the license for its marketing from AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish research oriented pharmaceutical multinational company.
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals has come up with a deal offering an upfront payment of $100 million for exclusive rights of marketing all products related to Lesinurad and for the right to formulate a fixed-dose combination of allopurinol and Lesinurad. In addition to this, Astrazeneca will be paid upto $165 million to cover sales-related payments in future and tiered single-digit royalties.
Astrazeneca in turn has honored the agreement by consenting for the production and supply of Zurampic, dealing with the post drug approval formalities with FDA and rendering certain product support services to Ironwood pharmaceuticals. Originally, this gout portfolio is owned by Adrea Biosciences, a subsidiary of Astrazeneca whose rights would remain unaffected despite this agreement. However, Astrazeneca has provided Ironwood Pharmaceuticals with the potential to access RDEA3170, another uric acid reabsorption inhibitor in Phase IIb of its trial.
The Novel drug Zurampic
Gout is a ruinous form of inflammatory arthritis affecting joints, tendons and other tissues as it progresses. It is characterized by a condition called hyperuricemia where the uric acid level in blood shoots up above 7mg/Dl. Zurampic has opened the floodgates by instigating a new approach in treating gout. It inhibits the URAT1 transporter which plays a crucial role in reabsorption of uric acid into blood. This would gradually decrease the level of uric acid in blood, reducing their accumulation in joints. This drug, approved by FDA is prescribed with a combination of xanthine oxidase inhibitor (XOI) to prevent acute renal failure.
Tom McCourt, Ironwood’s Chief Commercial Officer bent on bringing his company as the best performing one is pleased with the agreement. He stated, “This transaction enables Ironwood to leverage our strong commercial capabilities to advance a durable franchise of innovative medicines addressing a significant unmet need in which patients are highly motivated and seeking relief. With focused investment into the gout franchise over time, we believe we can maximize cash flows and accelerate our efforts to build a top-performing commercial biotechnology company”.
Luke Miels, The Executive Vice President of Global Product and Portfolio Strategy in AstraZeneca, feels, “We’re pleased to be entering into this agreement with Ironwood, a company with whom we already have a number of successful commercial partnerships. Our new agreement with Ironwood will ensure the successful launch of Zurampic in the US, while allowing us to concentrate our resources on the innovative medicines in our main therapy areas.”
The overwhelming strategy of Astrazeneca in selling the rights to certain non-core holdings so as to further invest in research and development of new drugs proves to be efficient making it a key player in pharmaceutical sector.
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