New agreement gives AstraZeneca full responsibility for Linzess in China

pharmafile | September 18, 2019 | News story | Research and Development AstraZeneca, IBS-C, Linzess 

AstraZeneca has amended its collaboration agreement with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals in China for Linzess (linaclotide), a first-in-class new treatment for patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

The amended agreement gives AstraZeneca sole responsibility for developing, manufacturing and commercialising Linzess in China and Ironwood will no longer be involved in the research, development or the commercialisation processes for Linzess.

Under the terms of the agreement AstraZeneca will pay Ironwood three contingent payments totalling $35 million between 2021 and 2024 and additionally Ironwood could receive up to $90 million in milestone payments contingent on the achievement of certain sales rights.

Ironwood will also be potentially eligible for royalties beginning in the mid-single-digit percent based on the annual net sales of the drug in China, but will no longer receive a standard share in the profit from sales.

The two companies first entered into a collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialise Linzess in 2012 and at the time agreed to be jointly responsible for the strategic oversight of the drug.

Linzess was approved by the National Medical Products Administration for adults with IBS-C in January this year in China and is expected to be launched soon.

Leon Wang, Executive Vice President and International and President of AstraZeneca China, said:

“Linzess is an important new treatment for this type of IBS in China, where there is a specific high unmet medical need. Today’s amended agreement allows us to bring this innovative medicine to patients more efficiently and will contribute further to our strong growth in this significant market.”

Mark Mallon, Chief Executive Officer or Ironwood added: “AstraZeneca has substantial experience and capabilities in developing and commercialising medicines in China. There are approximately 14 million adults suffering from IBS-C in China and we believe AstraZeneca is well-positioned to bring Linzess to these patients.”

IBS-C is characterised by symptoms of abdominal pain and constipation and is a chronic and prevalent functional gastrointestinal disorder where there are currently few treatment options available.

Nik Kiran

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