AstraZeneca PLC, Nektar Therapeutics (CA) Hedge Bets on Constipation Drug

Published: Aug 12, 2013

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Drug giant AstraZeneca plc will submit an experimental oral tablet for constipation to drug regulators next month — moves that could score Nektar Therapeutics Inc. a $95 million payday or allow AstraZeneca to cut its ties to the drug, according to a reworked deal between the companies. The deal, amended from the original 2009 agreement, is full of a series of what-if arrangements that potentially could cut into San Francisco-based Nektar's booty. The drug — called naloxegol, or NKTR-118 — is aimed at relieving constipation caused by pain-killing opioid drugs.

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