Novartis in Pact to Develop Cancer Drug

Novartis has entered into global license and supply agreements with Ligand Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in San Diego, to develop and commercialize an oral liquid cancer drug.

The companies will develop a Captisol-enabled oral liquid formulation of trametinib, a kinase inhibitor currently indicated as a single agent or in combination with dabrafenib to treat patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with BRAF V600 mutation. Under the license, Ligand will be eligible to receive a license fee, royalties on future net sales, and revenue from Captisol material sales. Novartis will be responsible for all costs related to the program.

Captisol is a chemically modified cyclodextrin that is designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. Captisol was initially developed by scientists in the laboratories of Dr. Valentino Stella at the University of Kansas’ Higuchi Biosciences Center for specific use in drug development and formulation. This technology has enabled several US Food and Drug Administration-approved products, including Amgen’s Kyprolis (carfilzomib) for relapsed multiple myeloma, Baxter International’s Nexterone (amiodarone HCl) for treating heart arrhythmia in patients, and Spectrum’s Evomela (melphalan for injection) for multiple myeloma, according to information from Ligand Pharmaceuticals There are more than 40 Captisol-enabled products currently in various stages of development, according to the company

Source: Ligand Pharmaceuticals

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