Ligand Partner Prism Pharmaceuticals to be Acquired by Baxter
Baxter to Commercialize Nexterone(R)
SAN DIEGO-- Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) announced that its partner Prism Pharmaceuticals has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX). Prism Pharmaceuticals recently received FDA approval for Nexterone(R), an antiarrhythmic agent which Ligand (through its CyDex Pharmaceuticals subsidiary) originally developed with its patented Captisol(R) formulation technology and licensed to Prism in 2006. Ligand is eligible to receive milestones, royalties and Captisol material sales revenue from this partnership.
"Congratulations to our partners at Prism on a terrific deal that delivers their Nexterone product portfolio into the very capable commercial organization at Baxter. This announcement is also an exciting development for Ligand as it adds validation to the quality of collaborations and assets we assumed through our recent acquisition of CyDex Pharmaceuticals," said John Higgins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ligand. "Having the Baxter commercial infrastructure behind Nexterone adds significant value to this asset for Ligand shareholders, and we look forward to building a strong relationship with Baxter as we continue to supply Captisol for all Nexterone products."
Captisol is the trade name for Ligand's modified b-cyclodextrin platform formulation technology. Captisol has an excellent safety profile and superior drug carrier properties designed to improve the solubility, stability, bioavailability, safety and dosing of APIs.
Nexterone is a novel Captisol-enabled formulation of amiodarone, a commonly used anti-arrhythmic agent used for the treatment of ventricular tachyarrhythmias, or fast forms of irregular heartbeat. By formulating with Captisol, Nexterone allows for the elimination of formulation limiting cosolvents like polysorbate 80 and benzyl alcohol found in the current presentations of amiodarone. Cosolvent-free amiodarone can now be presented as Nexterone in the first and only ready-to-use premixed intravenous (IV) bag formulations as well as vials and a pre-filled syringe. These ready-to-use formats require no admixing, eliminating potential medication errors associated with compounding. In addition, Nexterone can be stored at room temperature during its two-year shelf life and fits in automated dispensing cabinets and crash carts, putting the product in patient care areas ready for use during acute, time sensitive and life-threatening situations.
About Ligand Pharmaceuticals
Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company with a business model that is based upon the concept of developing or acquiring royalty revenue generating assets and coupling them to an efficiently lean corporate cost structure. Ligand's goal is to produce a bottom line that supports a sustainably profitable business. By diversifying the portfolio of assets across numerous technology types, therapeutic areas, drug targets, and industry partners, we offer investors a de-risked opportunity to invest in the increasingly complicated and unpredictable pharmaceutical industry. We believe Ligand has assembled one of the largest and most diversified portfolios of current assets in the industry (now more than 60 programs) with the potential to generate revenue in the future. These therapies address the unmet medical needs of patients for a broad spectrum of diseases including hepatitis, muscle wasting, Alzheimer's disease, dyslipidemia, diabetes, anemia, COPD, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Ligand has established multiple alliances with the world's leading pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca. For more information, please visit www.ligand.com.
This news release contains forward looking statements by Ligand that involve risks and uncertainties and reflect Ligand's judgment as of the date of this release. Actual events or results may differ from Ligand's expectations. Additional information concerning these and other risk factors affecting Ligand's business can be found in prior press releases available via www.ligand.com as well as in Ligand's public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov. Ligand disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of this release. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Source: Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
Released April 20, 2011