SAN DIEGO (March 6, 2018) – Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND) today announced the signing of a license agreement granting Roivant Sciences exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize LGD-6972, Ligand’s glucagon receptor antagonist (GRA). Under the terms of the agreement, Ligand will receive upfront license fees, and is eligible to receive clinical and regulatory milestone payments as well as sales-based milestone payments and royalties. Roivant will be responsible for all costs related to the program, effective immediately. Further details regarding the transaction and an update to Ligand’s 2018 guidance are provided in Ligand’s Form 8-K being filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
LGD-6972 is a novel, potent, oral, small-molecule GRA. In September 2017 Ligand announced positive topline results from a Phase 2 clinical study evaluating the efficacy and safety of LGD-6972 as an adjunct to diet and exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) inadequately controlled on metformin monotherapy. Full data from the Phase 2 trial has been submitted for presentation at the 78th annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association being held in Orlando from June 22-26, 2018.
“This global license with Roivant for our diabetes program is another important deal in a long history of success converting our inventions, data and intellectual property into licenses to advance promising medicines and deliver value to our shareholders,” said John Higgins, Chief Executive Officer, Ligand Pharmaceuticals. “Roivant is well capitalized and they are assembling an experienced team at Metavant to efficiently drive the program forward. This is a major partnership that has the potential to generate substantial medical value for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. If LGD-6972 is successfully developed, this license with Roivant has the potential to be Ligand’s largest financial asset with the possibility of annual royalties into the late 2030s given current and pending IP.”
Roivant is a privately-held company that has established multiple subsidiary biopharmaceutical companies focused on distinct disease areas, each with dedicated leadership and development-stage programs. With its affiliates, Roivant has raised more than $2.7 billion in capital to date to fund clinical programs and pursue adjacent business opportunities in healthcare. Roivant recently formed Metavant Sciences to develop LGD-6972 (now RVT-1502) as well as imeglimin (RVT-1501), another novel clinical-stage oral antidiabetic therapy. Metavant is focused on addressing the significant unmet medical needs of patients with cardiometabolic disorders. Roivant is also evaluating additional assets for Metavant’s pipeline.
Glucagon is a hormone produced by the pancreas that stimulates the liver to produce glucose (sugar). Overproduction of glucose by the liver is an important cause of high glucose levels in patients with T2DM and is due in part to inappropriately elevated levels of glucagon.
Roivant is dedicated to transformative innovation in healthcare. Roivant focuses on realizing the full potential of promising biomedical research by developing and commercializing novel therapies across diverse therapeutic areas. Roivant partners with innovative biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions to ensure that important medicines are rapidly developed and delivered to patients.
Roivant advances its drug pipelines through wholly- or majority-owned subsidiary companies, including Myovant (women’s health and endocrine diseases), Axovant (neurology), Urovant (urology), Enzyvant (rare diseases), Dermavant (dermatology) and Metavant (cardiometabolic diseases). Roivant also pursues its mission by incubating and launching innovative healthcare companies operating outside of traditional biopharmaceutical development, including Datavant (healthcare analytics). Roivant’s long-range mission is to reduce the time and cost of developing and delivering new medicines for patients. For more information, please visit www.roivant.com.
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.