Ferring Obtains Rights to Albireo’s Elobixibat

Ferring Pharmaceuticals announced yesterday that they have acquired the rights of Albireo’s elobixibat, a first-in-class compound for chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

The arrangement provides Ferring with the rights to market the product internationally with the exception of Japan and a small number of Asian markets.  In April, Albireo, which was created as a branch-out of AstraZeneca in 2008, authorised the medication in Japan and the small number of Asian markets to Ajinomoto Pharmaceuticals.

The organisation, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, will receive a “significant” upfront licensing fee, milestones and tiered double-digit royalties from Ferring.  Specific details have not been revealed but Switzerland-based Ferring noted that it is one of the largest investments they have made to obtain licensing rights for a product.  Ferring will also be accountable for any development costs in their territories.

Ferring is a recognised front-runner in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.  The corporation believes that elobixibat, which is aimed at a presently under-served, but large patient population, will considerably strengthen their gastroenterology portfolio.  Elobixibat is due to start Phase III trials for the CIC indication and Phase IIB trials for the IBS-C indication soon.

The Executive Director of the Board and COO of Albireo, Dr. Jan Mattsson, commented that the company is “excited to enter into this agreement and look forward to collaborating with Ferring to bring this novel therapy to patients around the world suffering from CIC or IBS-C. Ferring has a long and strong track record in gastroenterology and we believe will be an ideal partner for Albireo and elobixibat in this territory.”


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