Friday, January 19, 2018
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated announces initiation of a program to develop contrast agents with reduced renal toxicity. Contrast agents are injectable solutions used during diagnostic imaging procedures. Through this new, internally-funded program, Ligand intends to advance products toward proof-of-concept, followed by selling or out-licensing them for further development and commercialization. The program will leverage Ligand’s patented Captisol® technology, as well as data and intellectual property obtained through its acquisition of Verrow Pharmaceuticals.
“We view this new initiative as a valuable expansion of Ligand’s pipeline of internally developed programs that utilize our proprietary technologies and IP,” said John Higgins, Chief Executive Officer of Ligand. “Contrast agents are an important component of the diagnostic imaging market; however, they can be toxic and are known to cause kidney damage in some patients. Captisol is a patented, specialized cyclodextrin that plays a role in protecting kidneys from the damaging effects of these agents. This is a potentially highly lucrative product opportunity that Ligand is able to pursue given our ownership of Captisol and our relationships with inventors and scientists in the cyclodextrin field. We are excited to have this program in development and to have secured the associated program rights through our recent acquisition of Verrow Pharmaceuticals.”
Verrow Pharmaceuticals is a privately-held Lenexa, Kansas-based medical invention company that Ligand acquired in January 2018 for $2 million in cash plus earnouts.