Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRWD), announced today that, with its partner AbbVie Inc., the companies have reached an agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. providing a license to Teva's abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) seeking approval to market a generic version of 72 mcg LINZESS® (linaclotide) prior to the expiration of the companies' applicable patents. With this agreement, the companies have settled with the filers of all known ANDAs to date seeking approval to market generic versions of LINZESS.
Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Teva will be granted a license to market its 72 mcg generic version of LINZESS in the United States beginning March 31, 2029 (subject to U.S. FDA approval), unless certain limited circumstances, customary for settlement agreements of this nature, occur. Previously, Ironwood and Allergan granted Teva a license to market its 145 mcg and 290 mcg generic versions of LINZESS in the United States beginning on the same date. That grant was in connection with a settlement resolving all previous Hatch-Waxman litigation between the companies and Teva regarding LINZESS patents pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Additional details regarding the settlements were not disclosed.
"With this license agreement, we have now preserved the majority of LINZESS patent coverage for all three dosage strengths, reaffirming our commitment to grow the LINZESS franchise for many years to come," stated Tom McCourt, president and interim chief executive officer of Ironwood.
As required by law, the companies will submit the settlement agreement to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice for review.
About Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: IRWD) is a leading gastrointestinal (GI) healthcare company on a mission to advance the treatment of GI diseases and redefine the standard of care for GI patients. We are pioneers in the development of LINZESS® (linaclotide), the U.S. branded prescription market leader for adults with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). Under the guidance of our seasoned industry leaders, we continue to build upon our history of GI innovation and challenge what has been done before to shape what the future holds. We keep patients at the heart of our R&D and commercialization efforts to reduce the burden of GI diseases and address significant unmet needs.
Founded in 1998, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
About LINZESS (linaclotide)
LINZESS® is the #1 prescribed brand in the U.S. for the treatment of adult patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), based on IQVIA data.
LINZESS is a once-daily capsule that helps relieve the abdominal pain, constipation, and overall abdominal symptoms of bloating, discomfort and pain associated with IBS-C, as well as the constipation, infrequent stools, hard stools, straining, and incomplete evacuation associated with CIC. The recommended dose is 290 mcg for IBS-C patients and 145 mcg for CIC patients, with a 72-mcg dose approved for use in CIC depending on individual patient presentation or tolerability. LINZESS should be taken at least 30 minutes before the first meal of the day.
LINZESS is contraindicated in pediatric patients less than 6 years of age. The safety and effectiveness of LINZESS in pediatric patients less than 18 years of age have not been established. In neonatal mice, linaclotide increased fluid secretion as a consequence of guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonism resulting in mortality within the first 24 hours due to dehydration. Due to increased intestinal expression of GC-C, patients less than 6 years of age may be more likely than patients 6 years of age and older to develop severe diarrhea and its potentially serious consequences. In adults with IBS-C or CIC treated with LINZESS, the most commonly reported adverse event was diarrhea.
LINZESS is not a laxative; it is the first medicine approved by the FDA in a class called GC-C agonists. LINZESS contains a peptide called linaclotide that activates the GC-C receptor in the intestine. Activation of GC-C is thought to result in increased intestinal fluid secretion and accelerated transit and a decrease in the activity of pain-sensing nerves in the intestine. The clinical relevance of the effect on pain fibers, which is based on nonclinical studies, has not been established.
In the United States, Ironwood and AbbVie co-develop and co-commercialize LINZESS for the treatment of adults with IBS-C or CIC. In Europe, AbbVie markets linaclotide under the brand name CONSTELLA® for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe IBS-C. In Japan, Ironwood's partner Astellas markets linaclotide under the brand name LINZESS for the treatment of adults with IBS-C or CIC. Ironwood also has partnered with AstraZeneca for development and commercialization of LINZESS in China, and with AbbVie for development and commercialization of linaclotide in all other territories worldwide.
LINZESS Important Safety Information
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
LINZESS (linaclotide) is indicated in adults for the treatment of both irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS DEHYDRATION IN PEDIATRIC PATIENTS
LINZESS is contraindicated in patients less than 6 years of age. In nonclinical studies in neonatal mice, administration of a single, clinically relevant adult oral dose of linaclotide caused deaths due to dehydration. Use of LINZESS should be avoided in patients 6 years to less than 18 years of age. The safety and effectiveness of LINZESS have not been established in patients less than 18 years of age.
- LINZESS is contraindicated in patients less than 6 years of age due to the risk of serious dehydration.
- LINZESS is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction.
Warnings and Precautions
- LINZESS is contraindicated in patients less than 6 years of age. The safety and effectiveness of LINZESS in patients less than 18 years of age have not been established. In neonatal mice, linaclotide increased fluid secretion as a consequence of GC-C agonism resulting in mortality within the first 24 hours due to dehydration. Due to increased intestinal expression of GC-C, patients less than 6 years of age may be more likely than patients 6 years of age and older to develop severe diarrhea and its potentially serious consequences.
- Use of LINZESS should be avoided in pediatric patients 6 years to less than 18 years of age. Although there were no deaths in older juvenile mice, given the deaths in young juvenile mice and the lack of clinical safety and efficacy data in pediatric patients, use of LINZESS should be avoided in pediatric patients 6 years to less than 18 years of age.
- Diarrhea was the most common adverse reaction in LINZESS-treated patients in the pooled IBS-C and CIC double-blind placebo-controlled trials. The incidence of diarrhea was similar in the IBS-C and CIC populations. Severe diarrhea was reported in 2% of 145 mcg and 290 mcg LINZESS-treated patients, and in <1% of 72 mcg LINZESS-treated CIC patients. If severe diarrhea occurs, dosing should be suspended and the patient rehydrated.
Common Adverse Reactions (incidence ≥2% and greater than placebo)
- In IBS-C clinical trials: diarrhea (20% vs 3% placebo), abdominal pain (7% vs 5%), flatulence (4% vs 2%), headache (4% vs 3%), viral gastroenteritis (3% vs 1%) and abdominal distension (2% vs 1%).
- In CIC trials of a 145 mcg dose: diarrhea (16% vs 5% placebo), abdominal pain (7% vs 6%), flatulence (6% vs 5%), upper respiratory tract infection (5% vs 4%), sinusitis (3% vs 2%) and abdominal distension (3% vs 2%). In a CIC trial of a 72 mcg dose: diarrhea (19% vs 7% placebo) and abdominal distension (2% vs <1%).
Please see full Prescribing Information including Boxed Warning: http://www.allergan.com/assets/pdf/linzess_pi
LINZESS® and CONSTELLA® are registered trademarks of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All rights reserved.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, including statements about the date of generic entry and the potential for earlier generic entry under certain limited circumstances; the strength of the LINZESS intellectual property and the preservation of the majority of LINZESS patent coverage for the 72 mcg, 145 mcg and 290 mcg dosage forms; the market for LINZESS and our growth of the LINZESS franchise and the timing and duration thereof; the expected period of patent exclusivity, durability and life of the linaclotide patent portfolio; and the submission of the settlement agreement to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice for review. Each forward‐looking statement is subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statement. Applicable risks and uncertainties include those related to decisions by regulatory and judicial authorities; the risk we may never get additional patent protection for linaclotide; the risk that we may never get sufficient patent protection for linaclotide, that patents for linaclotide may not provide adequate protection from competition, or that we are not able to successfully protect such patents; the risk that additional ANDAs with respect to LINZESS are filed or that competitors otherwise seek to market a generic linaclotide or other competitive product before the expiration of the applicable patents; the risk that we become party to other linaclotide litigation, including other ANDA litigation, the risk that we lose or settle on less favorable terms in connection with other linaclotide ANDA litigation or that ANDA filers enter the market earlier than March 31, 2029, including due to other potential settlements or outcomes in legal proceedings to protect or enforce the patents relating to linaclotide; developments in the intellectual property landscape; challenges from and rights of competitors or potential competitors; and the risks listed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in Ironwood's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, and in our subsequent SEC filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Ironwood undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Meredith Kaya, 617-374-5082