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Ligand Pfizer Collaboration Extended (NASDAQ:LGND)

By Jyotsna Ramani on 11/06/2009 – 7:30 am PSTLeave a Comment

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:LGND) has announced that they have extended their research collaboration with Pfizer for JAK3 by one year. Both the companies had entered the research and license agreement in December 2006 with Wyeth provided for the initial three years research term. Under the extended collaboration agreement, Ligand Pharmaceuticals will receive US$3.1 million in research payments to continue the drug discovery and optimization of their lead candidate. Under the original agreement, Ligand Pharmaceutical was entitled to receive up to US$175 million as milestone payments for the successful development and commercialization of multiple products.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals is one of the growing companies that is into the discovery and development of new drugs that addresses critical unmet medical needs of patients with muscle wasting, hormone related diseases, osteoporosis, anemia, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Ligand’s drug discovery and development programs are based on advanced cell-based assays, gene expression tools and one of the world’s largest combinatorial chemical libraries. The Company has strategic tie-ups with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies like GSK, Cephalon, Celgene, Bristol-Myers Squibb. The Company also has collaboration with Pfizer and Wyeth for JAK3 which is a tyrosine kinase which is a type of enzyme, and an important target for therapeutic interventions in the treatment of autoimmune disorders, inflammation, and organ transplant rejections.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ CEO and President, John Higgins mentioned that they are very pleased that Pfizer has decided to extend the JAK3 research collaboration with them as JAK3 inhibitors is a very promising market opportunities and given Pfizer’s clinical success with their own internal program, they too are highly committed to this category. He further stated that Ligand Pharmaceuticals have an exceptional record of drug discovery and development while serving major pharmaceutical companies with a number of research collaborations and development programs

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