Ligand Pharmaceuticals has entered into a licensing agreement and research collaboration with Omthera Pharmaceuticals, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca, for the development of products to treat dyslipidemia, including hypertriglyceridemia.
The research collaboration will target the development of novel products that utilize the proprietary Ligand-developed LTP TECHNOLOGY to improve lipid-lowering activity of certain omega-3 fatty acids.
Ligand’s LTP TECHNOLOGY is a broadened novel prodrug technology platform designed to selectively deliver a range of active pharmaceutical agents to the liver. It chemically modifies a biologically active molecule into an inactive prodrug form that will be administered and later activated in the liver by certain enzymes mainly expressed in the liver. The technology can be used to improve activity and/or safety of an existing drug or to develop new agents to treat liver diseases or diseases caused by homeostasis imbalance of circulating biomolecules controlled by the liver such as lipids and glucose, and is especially applicable to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Ligand’s LTP TECHNOLOGY has expanded chemical class applicability and also removes certain by-products as compared to other targeting technologies.
Ligand will be eligible to receive payments of up to $44.5 million in milestones as well as tiered royalties in the mid to high single digits. Omthera is solely responsible for all research and clinical development costs as well as commercialization of any product(s) derived from the collaboration.