AstraZeneca has signed over US rights to recently-approved gout therapy Zurampic to Ironwood Pharmaceuticals for a total of $265 million, to help secure a successful launch for drug in the country.

Gout is a serious and debilitating form of inflammatory arthritis caused by excess serum uric acid levels. Doctors in the US can prescribe Zurampic (lesinurad) in combination with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor for the treatment of gout-associated hyperuricaemia in patients who have not achieved target serum uric acid levels with the latter alone.

Under the terms of the deal, Ironwood will make an upfront payment to AZ of $100 million for US rights to all products containing lesinurad, including the fixed-dose combination of lesinurad and allopurinol, scheduled to be filed with the US Food and Drug Administration later this year. 

Ironwood will also pay AZ tiered single-digit royalties on product sales as well as sales-related and other milestones of up to $165 million, while AZ will manufacture and supply the drug and provide certain product support services to Ironwood, as well as complete FDA post-approval commitment on Ironwood’s behalf.

“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,” said Luke Miels, executive vice president, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy, AZ, explaining the strategy behind the move.