Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) today announced that pursuant to an amendment to a March 2006 research agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), GSK has agreed to accelerate the timing of a $500,000 payment to Ligand that would otherwise have been required upon the identification of a new lead chemical series for advancement in its alliance with GSK. This chemical series is from a program being evaluated as a potential treatment for inflammatory indications identified through the collaboration. Including this milestone, Ligand has earned a total of $4 million from GSK in connection with the discovery of eight new leads in the collaboration.
In addition, under the amended agreement Ligand and GSK agreed to waive exclusivity on two biological targets, allowing both GSK and Ligand the freedom to pursue independent research programs with such targets in addition to the current alliance programs. Furthermore, pursuant to the amended agreement Ligand will gain full research, development and/or commercialization rights to certain targets and back-up compounds associated with the drug-screening collaboration.
Under the amended agreement, Ligand remains entitled to receive success-based milestone payments from GSK, starting in the preclinical research stage, for each drug development program and potentially up to double-digit royalties on the sales of any product commercialized by GSK under the multi-program alliance.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated