Click here to close now.




















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
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development...
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
In 2014, the market witnessed a massive migration to the cloud as enterprises finally overcame their fears of the cloud’s viability, security, etc. Over the past 18 months, AWS, Google and Microsoft have waged an ongoing battle through a wave of price cuts and new features. For IT executives, sorting through all the noise to make the best cloud investment decisions has become daunting. Enterprises can and are moving away from a "one size fits all" cloud approach. The new competitive field has ...
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., will focus on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what...
eCube Systems has released NXTmonitor, a full featured application orchestration solution. NXTmonitor, which inherited the code base of NXTminder, has been extended to support multi-discipline processes and will act as a DevOps utility in a heterogeneous enterprise environment. Previously, NXTminder was packaged with NXTera middleware to configure and manage Entera and NXTera RPC servers. “Since we are widening the focus of this solution to DevOps, we felt the need to change the name to NXTmon...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of tech...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so the...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...