SAN DIEGO– Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND) announces it has entered into a worldwide license agreement with Tizona Therapeutics, Inc., an immunology company developing next generation therapies for cancer and autoimmune disease. Under the license, Tizona will use the OmniRat®, OmniMouse® and OmniFlic® platforms to generate fully human mono- and bispecific antibodies. Ligand will be eligible to receive annual platform access payments as well as patent filing fees, clinical milestone payments and royalties for each successful OmniAb antibody. Tizona will be responsible for all costs related to the program.
“We have now added Tizona as a new partner as they expand their immuno-oncology and inflammation drug discovery efforts,” said John Higgins, Chief Executive Officer of Ligand Pharmaceuticals. “This is the second licensing deal struck by Ligand on OmniAb and the 18th commercial partner overall, which represents a strong continued momentum for the technology. We believe the OmniAb platform has great potential to enable the discovery and development of novel medicines to meet major medical needs.”
OmniAb includes three transgenic animal platforms for producing mono- and bispecific human therapeutic antibodies. OmniRat® is the industry’s first human monoclonal antibody technology based on rats. It has a complete immune system with a diverse antibody repertoire and generates antibodies with human idiotypes as effectively as wild-type animals make rat antibodies. OmniMouse® is a transgenic mouse that complements OmniRat and expands epitope coverage. OmniFlic® is an engineered rat with a fixed light chain for development of bispecific, fully human antibodies. The three platforms use patented technology, have broad freedom to operate and deliver fully human antibodies with high affinity, specificity, expression, solubility and stability.
About Ligand Pharmaceuticals
Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company with a business model focused on developing or acquiring royalty generating assets and coupling them with a 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 an opportunity to invest in the increasingly complicated and unpredictable pharmaceutical industry. In comparison to its peers, we believe Ligand has assembled one of the largest and most diversified asset portfolios in the industry with the potential to generate revenue in the future. These therapies seek to address the unmet medical needs of patients for a broad spectrum of diseases including thrombocytopenia, multiple myeloma, hepatitis, ventricular fibrillation, muscle wasting, Alzheimer’s disease, dyslipidemia, diabetes, anemia, asthma, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis. Ligand’s Captisol® platform technology is a patent-protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. OmniAb® is a patent-protected transgenic animal platform used in the discovery of fully human mono-and bispecific therapeutic antibodies. Ligand has established multiple alliances, licenses and other business relationships with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies including Novartis, Amgen, Merck, Pfizer, Celgene, Gilead, Janssen, Baxter International and Eli Lilly.
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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. These include statements regarding Ligand’s license agreement with Tizona under which Ligand may receive access fees, milestone payments and royalties based upon the development and commercialization of any antibodies discovered under the license. Actual events or results may differ from our expectations. For example, there can be no assurances that Tizona will successfully develop or market any antibodies discovered under the license. The failure to meet expectations with respect to any of the foregoing matters may reduce Ligand’s stock price. Additional information concerning these and other important risk factors affecting Ligand (including Ligand’s current reliance on revenues based on sales of Promacta® and Kyprolis®, and various risks to which Ligand’s Captisol® cyclodextrin operations are subject) can be found in Ligand’s prior press releases available at www.ligand.com as well as in Ligand’s public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available at www.sec.gov. Ligand disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of this press release, except as required by law. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.