News Feature | March 19, 2014

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Earns Million Dollar Milestone Payment

By Liisa Vexler

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated announced that it has received a million dollar milestone payment as a result of FDA approval of Merck's anti-fungal NOXAFIL injection. This new intravenous formulation of the product uses Ligand’s Captisol under commercial supply agreement.

This medication was created to help prevent Aspergillus and Candida infections in immunocompromised patients who are 18 years or older who require IV therapy or who cannot take an oral formulation. Merck’s anti-fungal agent NOXAFIL is also available in oral suspension and delayed-release tablet form.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ business is healthy and growing thanks to many partner products that are in the later stage clinical and regulatory stages of the approval process. Merck’s NOXAFIL is the second product using Ligand’s technology that is new to the market in 2014, after Pfizer’s Duavee® was launched last month. Three additional Ligand-partnered products are in late stages of the approval process and expected to be available to the market this year.

John Higgins, President and CEO of Ligand Pharmaceuticals explained, "Captisol is a proven formulation that is garnering more interest by prospective customers and partners given the technology's elevated profile."

Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company expects continued success based on its model of development and acquisition of royalty revenue generating assets. This strategy combined with a lean cost structure allows them to maintain profitability. Ligand maintains a diverse portfolio of assets that span a wide range of technological types, therapeutic areas, and partners.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals is a partner in products that address the previously unmet treatment needs of patients with a range of diseases that include diabetes, hepatitis, muscle wasting, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, dyslipidemia, asthma and anemia. Ligand's patent-protected Captisol technology is made from a chemically altered cyclodextrin structured to provide the most effective solubility and stability of pharmaceutical products. Ligand is partnered with global pharmaceutical leaders including GlaxoSmithKline, Onyx Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Amgen Inc.), Baxter International, Eli Lilly & Co., Spectrum Pharmaceuticals in addition to the above-mentioned Pfizer and Merck.