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Forest Laboratories will pay up to $330 million for access to linaclotide, a first-in-class compound being developed by Microbia for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Linaclotide activates the guanylate cyclase type-C receptor, a protein found in the lining of the intestines that increases fluid secretion. Forest and Microbia will jointly fund development and commercialization in the U.S., and Microbia will retain rights outside North America. Linaclotide is currently in Phase IIb studies and is expected to progress into Phase III in the second half of next year.
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