Ligand Pharma (LGND) Enters Licensing Agreements with Seelos Therapeutics for Four Programs

September 22, 2016 9:02 AM EDT

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: LGND) announces the licensing of rights to four programs to Seelos Therapeutics, Inc., a newly formed biopharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system (CNS), respiratory and other disorders.

The licensed therapeutic programs include Ligand's aplindore program for the treatment of various CNS disorders, a CRTH2 antagonist program for the treatment of respiratory disorders, a Captisol-enabled™ acetaminophen program for pain and fever management and an H3 receptor antagonist program for the treatment of narcolepsy.

Under the license agreement, Ligand is entitled to receive initial payments in equity or cash of $1.3 million upon Seelos’ completing a minimum of $7.5 million financing and up to an additional $3.5 million if Seelos becomes a public company and up to $145 million of additional cash milestones. In addition, Ligand is entitled to net sales royalties ranging from 4% to 10% for the various programs licensed. Ligand has also entered into a supply agreement for Captisol. If certain conditions are met, Ligand will provide a three-year convertible loan facility to Seelos in an amount up to $500,000. Seelos is responsible for all development activities under the license.

"Seelos is assembling a great team of industry veterans to focus on a promising portfolio of mid- and late-stage programs. We are impressed with their development plans and with the outlook for building their business," said John Higgins, CEO of Ligand Pharmaceuticals. "Ligand has a track record of success with licensing foundational assets at the early stage of company formation, such as with Retrophin, Sage and Viking. All were private companies at the time of the Ligand license and all subsequently became public off lead programs licensed from Ligand. We are eager to watch Seelos progress."

"We are pleased to announce the collaboration for a portfolio of CNS products with our partner Ligand Pharmaceuticals," said Dr. Raj Mehra, Chairman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Seelos Therapeutics, Inc. "This partnership highlights Seelos' focus on developing late-stage CNS product candidates with proven mechanism of action. SLS-006, one of the lead assets acquired in this agreement, is a Phase-3 ready and clinically-validated partial dopamine agonist that is well-positioned to advance in development with a goal to provide relief to an estimated 1.5 million Parkinson's disease patients in the developed world."

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