AstraZeneca’s Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Ligand Pharmaceuticals Partner

The biopharmaceutical company Ligand Pharmaceuticals has entered into a licensing agreement and research collaboration with Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca plc, for the development of products to treat dyslipidemia, including hypertriglyceridemia. The research collaboration will target the development of products that use the proprietary Ligand-developed LTP Technology to improve lipid-lowering activity of certain omega-3 fatty acids.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ligand will be eligible to receive payments of up to $44.5 million upon the achievement of specific milestones, as well as tiered royalties ranging from mid- to high-single digits of net sales. Omthera is solely responsible for all research and clinical development costs as well as commercialization of any product(s) derived from this collaboration.

Ligand's LTP Technology is a broadened prodrug technology platform designed to selectively deliver a range of active pharmaceutical agents to the liver. It works by chemically modifying 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.

Source: Ligand Pharmaceuticals  

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