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Key Developments from Ligand’s Partners Bode Well for It

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Key developments from partners

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) has key partnerships with Novartis (NVS) for Promacta and Amgen (AMGN) for Kyprolis. In Q1 2018, Novartis generated $257 million from Promacta sales compared to $82 million in Q1 2017, an increase of 47%.

In Q1 2018, Novartis announced that Promacta had received a breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA as a first-line therapy for use in combination with standard therapy for treating patients with severe aplastic anemia.

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Amgen generated $222 million from Kyprolis sales in Q1 2018, an increase of 17% over its sales in Q1 2017. In January, the FDA approved Amgen’s supplemental new drug application (or sNDA) to add overall survival data from the Phase 3 Endeavor trial of the drug to its prescription data. In the same month, the European Medicines Agency’s committee for medicinal products for human use adopted a positive opinion recommending a label variation for Kyprolis for the inclusion of updated overall survival data from the Endeavor trial in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

New licensing deals

In Q1 2018, Ligand Pharmaceuticals announced two new licensing deals with Roivant Sciences and venBio Partners. Ligand Pharmaceuticals entered into a licensing agreement with Roivant under which the former granted the latter exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize Ligand’s glucagon receptor antagonist LGD-6972. Ligand has received $20 million in up-front license fees and could receive up to $528.8 million in milestone payments.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals entered into a worldwide licensing agreement with venBio Partners for the use of the OmniAb platform to discover fully human antibodies. While the agreement allows the latter’s portfolio companies to enter into worldwide OmniAb platform agreements, the former will be eligible to receive annual access payments, milestone payments, and royalties on future sales of any antibodies that are discovered under these licenses.

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