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Astellas ends license deal with Aquinox for failed bladder pain drug

Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. terminated its exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc. for a bladder pain drug.

The termination follows Aquinox's June 27 announcement that its phase 3 study, called Leadership 301, of oral rosiptor in patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome failed. Rosiptor, also known as AQX-1125, failed to show a statistically significant reduction in bladder pain, compared to placebo, in the 341 female patients in the study at week 12. The study had enrolled a total of 433 patients.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Aquinox, which develops targeted therapeutics in disease areas of inflammation and immuno-oncology, had halted all further development activities with rosiptor.

The termination will take effect March 4, 2019, unless both parties agree to an earlier termination date.

The agreement had granted Astellas an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to use, research, develop, manufacture and commercialize rosiptor and related compounds for all human diseases and conditions in Japan and certain other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Previously, Aquinox cut its workforce by about 53%, and closed its office in San Bruno, Calif., as part of a restructuring following the failed study on rosiptor.