Ironwood was granted US development and commercialisation rights to the drug by AstraZeneca in return for a $100m payment and sales-related milestones of up to $165m.
AstraZeneca’s decision to license Zurampic (lesinurad) – which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December - is part of the “externalization” strategy the Anglo-Swedish firm has used to generate money to invest in R&D.
According to AstraZeneca’s financial results, licensing out non-core products generated $1.06bn in revenue in 2015.
Under the agreement, AZ Pharmaceuticals will manufacture and supply commercial supply Zurampic for Ironwood for an interim period until the latter firm takes over production at an unspecified point in the future.
In addition, AstraZeneca’s Ardea Biosciences subsidiary will develop a drug combining lesinurad and allopurinol on Ironwood’s behalf in exchange.
Ironwood can also negotiate for US development, manufacturing and commercialize rights to gout treatments combining verinurad – another API owned by Ardea – and other ingredients.