AstraZeneca to sell US rights for its gout drug to Ironwood Pharmaceuticals

British-Swedish  multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Plc today struck a deal to sell the US marketing rights for its newly approved gout drug Zurampic (lesinurad) to Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc for up to $265 million.

Zurampic was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2015, in combination with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, for the treatment of hyperuricemia associated with uncontrolled gout.

Under the terms of the deal, Ironwood will acquire exclusive US rights to Zurampic. In addition, Ironwood will gain the exclusive US rights to the fixed-dose combination of lesinurad and allopurinol.

AstraZeneca plans to submit the fixed-dose combination programme for regulatory review in the second half of 2016. Ironwood will pay AstraZeneca sales-related and other milestone payments of up to $265 million and tiered single-digit royalties on product sales.

London-based AstraZeneca said that it will manufacture and supply Zurampic, provide certain support and services to Ironwood and undertake the FDA post-approval commitment on their behalf.

Luke Miels, executive vice president, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy at AstraZeneca, said, ''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.''

Gout is a progressive and debilitating form of inflammatory arthritis. Approximately two million patients in the US on urate lowering therapy remain inadequately controlled, as XOI treatment alone is not sufficient to achieve their treatment goals, the drugmaker said in a statement.