Ardelyx Inc. took its gut-specific small molecule approach from concept to Phase II testing in under four years and now has scored a partnership with AstraZeneca plc as the pharma adds diabetic complications as a new therapeutic area.

The deal grants AstraZeneca exclusive worldwide rights to RDX5791, a non-absorbed inhibitor of solute carrier family 9 sodium hydrogen exchanger member 3 (SLC9A3; NHE3) in development for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), chronic kidney disease (CKD), heart failure and constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C).