Welcome!

News Feed Item

Viking Signs Broad Licensing Deal With Ligand Pharmaceuticals for Rights to Five Novel Therapeutic Programs

Ligand to Invest $2.5 Million to Support Development of Novel Treatments for Diabetes, Cancer Cachexia, Dyslipidemia and Anemia

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/22/14 -- Viking Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, first-in-class or best-in-class therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders, today announced that it has obtained an exclusive worldwide license to five novel therapeutic programs from Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND). The license includes programs targeting type 2 diabetes (Phase 2b) and cancer cachexia (Phase 2) that Viking is currently preparing to advance into mid-to-late stage clinical trials. Viking is solely responsible for all development activities under the license. Ligand has also agreed to invest $2.5 million in Viking to fund operating expenses.

The programs covered in the license agreement include Ligand's FBPase inhibitor program for type 2 diabetes, a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) program for muscle wasting, a Thyroid Hormone Receptor-β (TRβ) Agonist program for dyslipidemia, an Erythropoietin Receptor (EPOR) Agonist program for anemia, and an Enterocyte-Directed Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase-1 (DGAT-1) Inhibitor program for dyslipidemia.

"Along with our partners at Ligand, we have created through this license an excellent vehicle to develop several promising new therapies for patients, while unlocking potential value for stakeholders," said Brian Lian, President and CEO of Viking Therapeutics. "Each of the licensed programs has what we believe to be first-in-class or best-in-class characteristics and a differentiated therapeutic profile. Importantly, the portfolio fits well within Viking's focus, as our team has an extensive history in diabetes and endocrine drug development, including two recent drug approvals. At all levels, from preclinical through pharmaceutical development, and including our chief medical officer, we have well-aligned development expertise to bring these programs forward."

"Ligand has been exploring opportunities to increase the investment in certain of our research programs in order to advance them to major inflection points. This is a creative transaction that establishes a bold portfolio of early- and mid-stage assets that have the potential to generate substantial news flow over the next 12 to 24 months and to be the basis for important new drugs in major therapeutic categories," said John Higgins, President and CEO of Ligand Pharmaceuticals. "A relationship such as this one with Viking gives Ligand the opportunity to entrust valuable internal programs to a dedicated team with the operational resources to take them to the next level."

Drug candidates and programs covered by the license agreement include:

  • VK0612, a potent, selective inhibitor of fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, or FBPase, an enzyme that plays an important role in endogenous glucose production, or the synthesis of glucose by the body. Clinical trials to date have shown that VK0612 is safe, well-tolerated and leads to clinically significant glucose-lowering effects in patients with type 2 diabetes. Viking intends to commence a Phase 2b clinical trial of VK0612 in patients with poorly-controlled type 2 diabetes.

  • VK5211, a novel, orally available, non-steroidal SARM in development for the treatment of cancer cachexia. VK5211 is designed to produce the therapeutic benefits of testosterone with improved safety, tolerability and patient acceptance due to a tissue-selective mechanism of action and an oral route of administration. Viking plans to commence a Phase 2 proof of concept clinical trial in patients with cancer cachexia.

  • VK0214, a novel, orally available, liver-selective TRβ agonist for lipid disorders such as dyslipidemia and NASH. The unique liver-targeting properties of TRβ agonists are designed to reduce or eliminate the deleterious effects of extra-hepatic thyroid receptor activation. Viking plans to complete the toxicity, pharmacology and chemistry, manufacturing and controls studies needed for an IND filing for VK0214.

  • A portfolio of orally available small molecule EPOR agonists for the potential treatment of anemia. These drug candidates have the potential to treat anemia with improved safety, tolerability and route of administration compared with currently available therapies. Viking plans to conduct further preclinical studies in support of a potential IND filing.

  • A portfolio of orally available small molecule inhibitors of the enzyme DGAT-1 for the potential treatment of lipid disorders such as obesity and dyslipidemia. Viking plans to conduct further preclinical studies in support of a potential IND filing.

"Our development strategy will focus on achieving important clinical milestones with the FBPase, SARM, and TRβ programs, while working to establish non-clinical proof-of-concept with the EPOR and DGAT-1 programs," said Dr. Lian. "We share Ligand's belief that medically important new therapies such as these should be advanced to key value-creating milestones."

About Viking Therapeutics, Inc.
Viking Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, first-in-class or best-in-class therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders. Viking's research and development activities leverage its expertise in metabolism to develop innovative therapeutics designed to improve patients' lives. Viking has exclusive worldwide rights to a portfolio of five therapeutic programs in clinical trials or preclinical studies, which are based on small molecules licensed from Ligand. Viking's lead clinical program is VK0612, a first-in-class, orally available drug candidate in Phase 2 development for type 2 diabetes. Viking's second clinical program is VK5211, an orally available, non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator, or SARM, entering Phase 2 development for the treatment of cancer cachexia. Viking is also developing three novel preclinical programs targeting metabolic diseases and anemia. For additional information about Viking and its programs, please visit www.vikingtherapeutics.com.

About Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company with a business model that is based upon the concept of developing or acquiring royalty revenue generating assets and coupling them to a lean corporate cost structure. Ligand's goal is to produce a bottom line that supports a sustainably profitable business. By diversifying our portfolio of assets across numerous technology types, therapeutic areas, drug targets and industry partners, we offer investors an opportunity to invest in the increasingly complicated and unpredictable pharmaceutical industry. In comparison to its peers, we believe Ligand has assembled one of the largest and most diversified asset portfolios in the industry with the potential to generate revenue in the future. These therapies address the unmet medical needs of patients for a broad spectrum of diseases including diabetes, hepatitis, muscle wasting, Alzheimer's disease, dyslipidemia, anemia, asthma and osteoporosis. Ligand's Captisol platform technology is a patent protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. Ligand has established multiple alliances with the world's leading pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Onyx Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Amgen Inc.), Merck, Pfizer, Baxter International, Eli Lilly & Co. and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. Please visit www.captisol.com for more information on Captisol. For more information on Ligand, please visit www.ligand.com. Follow Ligand on Twitter @Ligand_LGND.

Contacts:

Viking Therapeutics, Inc.
Brian Lian
President and CEO
Email Contact
(858) 550-7810

Vida Strategic Partners
Stephanie Diaz (investors)
Email Contact
(415) 675-7401

Tim Brons (media)
Email Contact
(646) 319-8981

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...