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WASHINGTON, DC, October 23, 2012 — AstraZeneca and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today an agreement to develop and market Ironwood’s linaclotide in China. Covington & Burling advised AstraZeneca on the deal.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved linaclotide last August, making it the first of its class of drugs approved in the United States. Linaclotide, an oral capsule intended for once daily administration, is used for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation.
AstraZeneca and Ironwood are jointly responsible for strategic oversight of the development and commercialization of linaclotide in China. AstraZeneca will have primary responsibility for the local operational execution.
Under the terms of the collaboration, AstraZeneca will make an upfront payment of $25 million to Ironwood and will share the net profits and losses associated with linaclotide in China, with AstraZeneca carrying 55 percent of each until a certain specified milestone is achieved, moving to a 50/50 split thereafter. Ironwood is also eligible for $125 million in additional commercial milestone payments contingent on the achievement of certain sales targets.
In addition, AstraZeneca and Ironwood announced today that they have agreed that Ironwood’s sales force of approximately 160 experienced clinical sales specialists will promote AstraZeneca’s Nexium in the U.S.
The Covington team included Sarah Hoagland, John Hurvitz and Amy Toro, with assistance from Christina Chung.