Ligand, Sermonix Expand Licensing Deal

Ligand Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company, has expanded its license with Sermonix Pharmaceuticals, a Columbus, Ohio-based biotechnology company focused on female-specific oncology products, to include worldwide rights to develop and commercialize oral lasofoxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM).

Ligand originally licensed the US rights to oral lasofoxifene to Sermonix in February 2015 and has now expanded the agreement to include the rest of the world. Sermonix is focused on breast and ovarian cancer treatment with oral lasofoxifene, specifically for treating advanced estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) endocrine-resistant breast cancer.

Lasofoxifene was discovered through a research collaboration between Ligand and Pfizer that began in 1991. The oral, 0.5-mg form of lasofoxifene tartrate was developed by Pfizer under the trade name Fablyn (lasofoxifene tartrate) and progressed through regulatory approval in the European Union. After Pfizer acquired Wyeth and Wyeth’s drug Conbriza (bazedoxifene) in 2009, which was a similar SERM program, rights to all forms of lasofoxifene reverted to Ligand in 2011.

In 2013 Ligand licensed lasofoxifene to Azure Biotech for the development of a formulation targeting an under-served market in women’s health. Also in 2013, Ligand licensed to Ethicor Pharmaceuticals rights to manufacture and distribute oral lasofoxifene as an unlicensed medicinal product in the European Economic Area, Switzerland, and the Indian Subcontinent. Ligand and Ethicor mutually terminated that agreement in early 2017.

Source: Ligand Pharmaceuticals

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