Morrison & Foerster Represents Astellas in Asia Licensing Agreement with Ironwood
NEW YORK (November 10, 2009) – Morrison & Foerster represented Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma Inc. in a license agreement with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. regarding linaclotide, a compound in development for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic constipation (CC) that is currently in Phase 3 clinical development in the United States. Under the agreement Astellas has exclusive rights to develop and sell linaclotide in Japan, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Astellas will be responsible for all activities and expenses pertaining to clinical development, regulatory approval, and commercialization of linaclotide, adding to its existing gastrointestinal franchise in Japan. The deal includes $75 million in upfront and pre-commercial milestone payments to Ironwood and escalating royalties on linaclotide sales.
The Morrison & Foerster team was led by of counsel Rufus Pichler and partner Michael Braun. The firm has represented Astellas in several other acquisitions and licensing agreements and was U.S. counsel in the $8 billion merger between Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that formed the company in 2005.