Ligand Pharmaceuticals Acquires Ab Initio Biotherapeutics, for $12M

ligandLigand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND) acquired Ab Initio Biotherapeutics, an antigen-discovery company based in South San Francisco, California, for $12m.

Ab Initio brings to Ligand patented antigen technology that is synergistic with its OmniAb® therapeutic antibody discovery platform.

This new technology will provide Ligand’s current and potential new partners enhanced capabilities for the discovery of therapeutic antibodies against difficult-to-access cellular targets.

In addition, Ab Initio has a collaboration agreement with Pfizer Inc. to discover novel therapeutic antibodies against an undisclosed target in the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily. GPCRs comprise the largest class of therapeutic drug targets, with key regulatory roles ranging from cardiovascular biology to metabolic health. Under the agreement, Ligand is eligible to receive potential milestones and tiered royalties on potential future sales.
Ab Initio also currently has two unpartnered preclinical programs focused on hematological malignancies and solid tumors.

Led by Kenneth Lin, CEO and co-founder, Ab Initio was a biotech company whise proprietary antigen discovery platform allows for targeting multi-transmembrane proteins such as GPCRs and facilitates antibody generation relevant to a wide array of therapeutic indications including neurological, cardiovascular, endocrine and gastrointestinal disorders.

Led by John Higgins, Chief Executive Officer, Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing or acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. Its business model is based on drug discovery, early-stage drug development, product reformulation and partnering. The company partners with other pharmaceutical companies to leverage late-stage development, regulatory management and commercialization to generate its revenue.
Ligand’s Captisol® platform technology is a patent-protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. OmniAb® is a patent-protected transgenic animal platform used in the discovery of fully human mono- and bispecific therapeutic antibodies.

The company has established multiple alliances, licenses and other business relationships with leading pharmaceutical companies including Amgen, Merck, Pfizer, Gilead, Janssen, Baxter International and Eli Lilly.



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