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Ironwood, Allergan Investors React Positively After Duo's Constipation Drug Found Effective

Shanthi Rexaline

Shares of the small-cap, actively traded Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRWD) were seeing positive momentum Wednesday on top of the 8.08% gain the stock recorded Tuesday.

What Happened

Ironwood and Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN) announced positive topline results from a Phase 3b study evaluating Linzess 290 mcg for multiple abdominal symptoms in adult patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, or IBS-C.

The companies said the late-stage study met the primary multicomponent endpoint of the drug, when administered orally once-daily, demonstrating an improvement in overall abdominal symptoms of bloating, pain and discomfort in adult patients with IBS-C compared to placebo.

Linzess also met the secondary endpoints of showing a clinically meaningful response, as defined by the abdominal symptom score responder, of a patient seeing an improvement of at least two points from the baseline in a weekly abdominal score for the last six of the 12 weeks of treatment.

The late-stage study also confirmed the safety of Linzess.

Why It's Important

Linzess, an FDA-approved drug for IBS-C or chronic idiopathic constipation, or IDC, is marketed in the U.S. by Ironwood and Allergan.

About 95% of adults with IBS-C experience bothersome abdominal bloating, pain and/or discomfort, the companies said, citing research estimates. An estimated 13 million adults in the U.S. suffer from IBS-C.

"I believe the data from this LINZESS Phase 3b trial will be very important in helping patients and physicians have a more comprehensive dialogue about the multiple symptoms associated with IBS-C," Lin Chang, professor of medicine at UCLA, said in a statement. 

Ironwood shares were up 5.48% at $12.13 at the time of publication Wednesday, while Allergan shares were up 3.49% at $124.87. 

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