In a second quarter 2018 investor update, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals revealed that is has terminated its agreement with AstraZeneca regarding the U.S. rights to Zurampic (lesinurad), the gout therapy. The deal, which out-licensed exclusive U.S right for the therapy to Ironwood, was finalized in 2016 and worth potentially $265 million, plus royalties. Additionally, the deal included exclusive U.S. rights to the fixed-dose combination Duzallo (lesinurad/allopurinol).
Ironwood’s CEO Peter Hecht comments that the decision was not taken lightly. He continued, “[I]t is an important decision that we believe enables us to allocate capital to the highest return opportunities and drive growth. We are working to maintain appropriate availability of lesinurad for patients and physicians during the termination period.”
The company began this fiscal year with the intention to explore a more comprehensive marketing mix in select test markets; however, after obtaining the financial results last month, it announced that expectations were not met.
Ironwood anticipates that the AstraZeneca termination will reduce its operating expenses for the 2019 fiscal year by roughly $75 million to $100 million. The company also intends to reduce its workforce by approximately 125 employees.
The investor update also noted that Ironwood’s second-quarter revenue reached $81.1 million, up from $65.1 million in the year-ago period, with combined quarter sales of Zurampic and Duzallo totaling $1.1 million.
(Source: Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)