SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND) (“Ligand” or “the Company”) announces that it will receive a $2 million payment from WuXi Biologics subsequent to their licensing of exclusive rights to the anti-PD-1 antibody GLS-010 to Arcus Biosciences in North America, Europe, Japan and certain other territories. Ligand is also entitled to future milestones and royalties from this antibody.
WuXi Biologics was previously contracted by its Chinese partner Harbin Gloria Pharmaceuticals to discover and develop GLS-010 using Ligand’s OmniAb® technology, specifically the OmniRat® transgenic rat platform. GLS-010 is currently being evaluated in cancer patients in Phase 1 clinical studies in China. Arcus Biosciences is a privately held cancer immunotherapy company with headquarters in Hayward, Calif. Arcus plans to develop GLS-010 in combination with other immuno-oncology product candidates in its portfolio.
“OmniAb is a valuable and versatile technology platform and we are delighted with the continued progress being made by our licensees on a global basis,” said John Higgins, Chief Executive Officer of Ligand. “This transaction illustrates how OmniAb generates payments to Ligand while products are in discovery and development, with potential future milestones and royalty payments as those products progress to market.”
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. Ligand acquired the OmniAb technology through its acquisition of OMT, Inc. in early 2016.
About Ligand Pharmaceuticals
Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing or acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. Our business model creates value for stockholders by providing a diversified portfolio of biotech and pharmaceutical product revenue streams that are supported by an efficient and low corporate cost structure. Our goal is to offer investors an opportunity to participate in the promise of the biotech industry in a profitable, diversified and lower-risk business than a typical biotech company. Our business model is based on doing what we do best: drug discovery, early-stage drug development, product reformulation and partnering. We partner with other pharmaceutical companies to leverage what they do best (late-stage development, regulatory management and commercialization) to ultimately generate our revenue. 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 Arcus’s planned development of GLS-010 including the target indications. Actual events or results may differ from our expectations. 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 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.