IND for Ligand's LGD-6972 Accepted

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (LGND) Investigational New Drug (IND) application for its Glucagon Receptor Antagonist program with LGD-6972 was accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) for the treatment of patients suffering from type II diabetes. The incidence of diabetes is on a rise across the globe.

Ligand Pharma will commence phase I studies on the candidate by year end. It is an unpartnered program and the company has plans to find a partner after phase I study.

Ligand Pharma presented positive pre-clinical data on LGD-6972 at the American Diabetes Association in Jun 2012. The pre-clinical studies revealed significant glucose lowering activity by the candidate. The data showed that the highly potent and selective LGD-6972 inhibits glucagon-induced hyperglycemia in both rats and monkeys and lowers glucose in a mouse model of type II diabetes. Studies also showed robust pharmacokinetics. 

In Jun 2013, Ligand Pharma had announced positive data from preclinical studies of LGD-6972, revealing significant glucose lowering activity in an animal model of type I diabetes. 

Ligand Pharma was in the news earlier this month, when Duavee received FDA approval for the treatment of moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause and the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Duavee was developed by Pfizer Inc. (PFE), and is part of research collaboration with Ligand Pharma. As per the agreement, Ligand Pharma received milestone payment of $425,000 for this approval.

Ligand Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Roche Holding (RHHBY) and Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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