BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRWD) announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued Notices of Allowance for patent applications covering the formulation of the 72 mcg dose of LINZESS® (linaclotide) and methods of using the formulation. The patent applications are expected to issue in 2020 and expire in 2031.
LINZESS is approved and marketed in the United States for the treatment of adult men and women suffering from irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). It was the first guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“We believe that this action by the USPTO reinforces the durability of our flagship product LINZESS, the number one prescribed medication for millions of adult patients with IBS-C or CIC,” said Mark Mallon, chief executive officer of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. “We have been innovating with linaclotide for more than 15 years and believe in the strength of the intellectual property we have developed for LINZESS. In 2020, we remain focused on growing this franchise while working to deliver new therapies to GI patients.”
A notice of allowance is a written notification issued after the USPTO makes a determination that a patent is eligible to be granted from an application. The vast majority of patent applications that receive a notice of allowance will proceed to issue as a U.S. patent; however, a notice of allowance is not a guarantee of patent issuance.
Ironwood and Allergan previously entered into settlement agreements with five generic drug manufacturers (Teva Pharmaceuticals, USA, Sandoz Inc., Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. and an affiliate of Aurobindo, Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sun Pharma Global FZE) resolving all outstanding patent infringement litigation brought in response to their abbreviated new drug applications seeking approval to market generic versions of LINZESS prior to the expiration of Ironwood’s and Allergan’s applicable patents. Pursuant to the terms of the settlements, Ironwood and Allergan granted each of the five generic drug manufacturers a license to market their 145 mcg and 290 mcg generic versions of LINZESS, beginning as early as March 2029 (subject to U.S. FDA approval), unless certain limited circumstances, customary for settlement agreements of this nature, occur. Ironwood and Allergan have also entered into a settlement agreement providing Mylan a license to market its 72 mcg generic version of LINZESS beginning in August 2030 (subject to U.S. FDA approval), unless certain limited circumstances, customary for settlement agreements of this nature, occur. The settlement with Teva does not grant any license to Teva with regard to its 72 mcg generic version of LINZESS.
Linaclotide is a guanylate cyclase‐C (GC‐C) agonist that binds to the GC-C receptor locally, within the intestinal epithelium. Linaclotide is marketed by Ironwood and Allergan plc in the United States as LINZESS® and is indicated for the treatment of adults with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). In Europe, Allergan markets linaclotide under the brand name CONSTELLA® for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe IBS-C. Ironwood's partner Astellas markets linaclotide under the brand name LINZESS for the treatment of adults with IBS-C in Japan, and Ironwood’s partner AstraZeneca markets linaclotide under the brand name LINZESS for the treatment of adults with IBS-C in China (including Hong Kong and Macau). Ironwood is partnered with Allergan for the development and commercialization of linaclotide in all other territories worldwide.
About Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: IRWD) is a GI healthcare company dedicated to advancing the treatment of GI diseases and redefining the standard of care for millions of GI patients. We discovered, developed and are commercializing linaclotide, the U.S. branded prescription market leader for adults with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).
We are also developing two late-stage, first-in-category GI product candidates: IW-3718 is a gastric retentive formulation of a bile acid sequestrant being developed for the potential treatment of refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease, and MD-7246 is a delayed-release formulation of linaclotide that is being evaluated as an oral, intestinal, non-opioid, pain-relieving agent for patients suffering from abdominal pain associated certain GI diseases.
Ironwood was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Boston, Mass. For more information, please visit our website at www.ironwoodpharma.com or www.twitter.com/ironwoodpharma; information that may be important to investors will be routinely posted in both these locations.
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 trademarks of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Any other trademarks referred to in this press release are the property of their respective owners. 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 likelihood patent applications covering the formulation of the 72 mcg dose of LINZESS and methods of using the formulation may issue, the timing of the issuance of such patents and the expiration date of such patents; the strength of the intellectual property protections for LINZESS; the durability and growth of the LINZESS franchise; and the development of new therapies for GI patients. 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 actions and decisions by regulatory and judicial authorities such as the USPTO, including the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on governmental authorities; competition and future business decisions made by us, as well as our competitors or potential competitors; the risk 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 we may never get additional patent protection for linaclotide, including with respect to the LINZESS 72 mcg dose; the risk that abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) with respect to LINZESS are filed or that competitors otherwise seek to market a generic linaclotide before the expiration of the applicable patents; developments in the intellectual property landscape; the impact of COVID-19 on our business and operations; and the risks listed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in Ironwood's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and in our subsequent SEC filings. These forward-looking statements (except as otherwise noted) speak only as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.