Sucampo Falls After Failing to End Drug Deal With Takeda

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc., the maker of the constipation drug Amitiza, dropped the most in about 3 1/2 years after losing a bid in arbitration to sever ties with marketing partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.

Sucampo fell 25 percent to $5.23 at the close of trading, the biggest decline for the Bethesda, Maryland-based company since Dec. 1, 2008.

The 2004 agreement with Osaka, Japan-based Takeda for marketing Amitiza will have to remain in place until October 2020, Sucampo said today in a statement, citing a decision by the International Chamber of Commerce, a private arbitrator. Sucampo had sought to end the partnership early because Takeda breached the agreement by not maximizing U.S. sales of Amitiza, Kari Watson, a spokeswoman for Sucampo, said in an e-mail.

Sucampo filed a demand for arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce on March 12, 2010. The ICC didn’t award Sucampo attorneys’ fees or costs, and said the royalty rates the company collects from Takeda must stay the same. The royalty revenue was $41.5 million last year, Sucampo said in the statement. The company had $54.8 million in total sales last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Amitiza treats chronic constipation that isn’t relieved through standard treatments and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in adult women.

“Through this arbitration process, we have gained a greater understanding that there is significant potential to further increase Amitiza’s value, make the product available to currently underserved patients, and maximize its net sales revenue by optimizing its marketing and commercialization efforts,” Ryuji Ueno, Sucampo’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The company plans to seek approval “in the near-term” for Amitiza to treat opioid-induced constipation, Ueno said.

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