Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.IRWD announced the initiation of a phase I study on its soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator, IW-1973. Results from the study are expected in the second half of 2015.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase I study will evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetic profile and pharmacodynamic effects of IW-1973.
The company also plans to initiate a phase I study on its second sGC stimulator, IW-1701, later this year. The company intends to investigate the potential of sGC stimulators across several therapeutic areas including cardiovascular diseases, fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, glaucoma, dementia and diabetic complications.
Apart from the phase I study on IW-1973, other studies being conducted by the company currently include a phase IIa study on IW-9179 in diabetic gastroparesis, with results expected in the first half of 2016. The company also reported positive top-line data from a phase IIa study on IW-3718, its refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease candidate, and now intends to advance the candidate into a phase IIb study.
Ironwood currently has a single marketed product in its portfolio - Linzess. Linzess, which was launched in Dec 2012 in collaboration with Actavis plc ACT , is indicated for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).
We note that Ironwood also has a partnership with other companies including Astellas Pharma Inc ALPMY for Linzess.
Meanwhile, Ironwood and Actavis are working on expanding Linzess' label. Ongoing studies on Linzess include a phase III study with a 72 mcg dose of the drug in adult patients with CIC as well as a phase II study of the drug in adults with opioid-induced constipation (OIC). Results from the CIC and OIC studies are expected in 2016 and the second half of 2015, respectively.
Ironwood carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). A better-ranked stock in the health care sector include Lannett Company, Inc. LCI , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).