Patent Licensure Positive, Removes Barrier To Potential SGYP Pharma Partnership

Synergy Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SGYP) released in an 8-k Thursday night that it has entered into an agreement with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IRWD) for an exclusive worldwide license to IRWD’s method of use patents on plecanatide for the treatment of chronic constipation. (See previous SGYP coverage here.) The letter of intent (LOI), which is anticipated to result in a definitive license agreement on the intellectual property, contemplates a low single-digit royalty to IRWD on net sales of plecanatide, with both parties agreeing not to challenge each other’s patents covering certain GC-C agonists. Under the deal, SGYP retained rights to challenge IRWD’s method of use patents on plecanatide. The licensing deal indicates that Synergy is better positioned to move forward on partnering plecanatide with a larger drug company focused on, or interested in, entering the GI segment. Expect SGYP shares to trade up Friday on the news.