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Ropes & Gray Represents Ironwood Pharmaceuticals in Rare Autoimmune Disease Collaboration with COUR Pharmaceuticals

Practices: Health Care, Life Sciences Licensing, Collaborations & Joint Ventures, Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Transactions, Tax

Ropes & Gray represented Ironwood Pharmaceuticals in a collaboration and license option agreement with COUR Pharmaceutical Development Company, Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel immune-modifying nanoparticles to treat autoimmune diseases. The agreement gives Ironwood an option to acquire an exclusive license to develop and commercialize, in the U.S., COUR’s investigational therapy which could transform the treatment of Primary Biliary Cholangitis – a rare autoimmune disease targeting the liver that can lead to irreversible damage and scarring of the liver tissue, ultimately requiring liver transplant. The transaction was announced on November 4.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ironwood will make a payment of approximately $20 million in upfront and near-term milestones and up to $475 million in long-term commercial and regulatory milestones and royalties to COUR.

The Ropes & Gray team representing Ironwood was led by life sciences partner Abigail Gregor (Boston) and included tax partner David Saltzman (Boston), IP transactions associate Barry Ma and tax associate Chris Shim (both of New York).

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