At one point, Zurampic, an experimental gout drug, had been touted as a blockbuster-in-the-making. Its sales potential seemed like such a sure bet that in 2012, AstraZeneca spent more than $1 billion to take over the medication as part of its acquisition of Ardea.
The gettin’ looked so good that Ironwood then bought the licensing rights to the drug in 2016, paying $100 million up front and promising $165 million more in milestones and royalties.
Now, after missing primary endpoints in three late-stage trials and FDA experts doubting it will win approval, Ironwood has announced that its punting Zurampic back to AstraZeneca. The company will also lay off 125 employees, mostly sales reps.
AstraZeneca has not announced what its plans are for the medication.
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