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Ligand Pharma's LGD-6972 Positive in Phase I Study

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LGND) announced positive data from a phase I study (n=56) on its type II diabetes candidate, LGD-6972. This is the first in-human study on LGD-6972, a glucagon receptor antagonist. LGD-6972 met the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics profiles and was well tolerated.

The study showed that LGD-6972 reduced fasting plasma glucose (placebo-adjusted) in healthy volunteers and patients suffering from type II diabetes after a single dose. Data also revealed that the candidate was well-absorbed in patients following oral administration. Furthermore, data from the single-ascending dose trial showed that plasma concentrations reached the peak level nearly 5 to 8 hours post dosing.

The data was presented at the 74th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (:ADA).

As per ADA, type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. The market for type II diabetes, which includes Novo Nordisk’s (NVO) Victoza among others, offers significant commercial potential.

Meanwhile, Ligand Pharma is working toward strengthening its pipeline and has inked quite a few deals to attain this objective. In May 2014, Ligand Pharma signed a licensing and research deal with AstraZeneca (AZN) under which both companies will develop candidates utilizing Ligand Pharma’s LTP technology platform for the treatment of dyslipidemia, including hypertriglyceridemia. Late last month, Ligand Pharma licensed the rights to five programs to Viking Therapeutics.

Ligand Pharma, a biopharma company, holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the biotech sector is Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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