Ligand Presents Preclinical Data on HepDirect™ Liver-Targeting Technology Platform at 2013 International Liver Congress (EASL)

  Ligand Presents Preclinical Data on HepDirect™ Liver-Targeting Technology
  Platform at 2013 International Liver Congress (EASL) Annual Meeting

Business Wire

SAN DIEGO -- April 26, 2013

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND) announced that data from
preclinical studies evaluating Ligand’s HepDirect™ liver-targeting technology
platform will be featured in a poster presentation at the 48^th Annual
International Liver Congress hosted by the European Association for the Study
of the Liver (EASL) in Amsterdam. The data show highly targeted liver delivery
of a clinically active NS5B polymerase inhibitor utilizing the HepDirect
technology platform, and demonstrated that HepDirect liver targeting of active
nucleosides may be an effective method to improve efficacy while reducing
systemic side effects in HCV treatment.

In preclinical studies, Ligand evaluated the pharmacokinetics and liver
targeting of LGD-7501, a HepDirect prodrug designed for increased liver
targeting compared to other phosphoramidate prodrugs of the same active
nucleoside. The compound using HepDirect technology efficiently targeted the
liver with greatly reduced systemic distribution in preclinical models,
providing further proof-of-concept of the value and utility of the HepDirect
technology platform.

“Our HepDirect technology is an important example of Ligand’s diverse
portfolio of internal and un-partnered assets and technologies, and has
applicability for liver-targeting for a wide range of therapeutic areas,
including HCV,” commented Matthew W. Foehr, Chief Operating Officer of Ligand
Pharmaceuticals. “These positive findings represent the first preclinical
example of HepDirect’s delivery efficiency when directly compared to other
prodrugs of the same active nucleoside that have been previously tested
clinically.”

About Ligand’s HepDirect HCV Inhibitor Program

HepDirect is a pro-drug technology that targets delivery of certain drugs to
the liver by using a proprietary chemical modification that renders a drug
biologically inactive until cleaved by a liver-specific enzyme. Antiviral
therapies for the treatment of HCV often have significant undesired side
effects related to systemic exposure of the compounds. The HepDirect
technology may improve the efficacy and/or safety of certain drugs and can be
applied to marketed or new drug products.

About Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company that develops and acquires assets it
believes will generate royalty revenues and, under its lean corporate cost
structure, produce sustainable profitability. Ligand has a diverse asset
portfolio addressing the unmet medical needs of patients for a broad spectrum
of diseases including thrombocytopenia, multiple myeloma, diabetes, hepatitis,
muscle wasting, dyslipidemia, anemia 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,
Merck, Pfizer, Baxter International, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Lundbeck
Inc., Eli Lilly & Co., Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and The Medicines Company.
Please visit www.captisol.com for more information on Captisol or
www.ligand.com for more information on Ligand.

Follow Ligand on Twitter @Ligand_LGND.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements by Ligand that
involve risks and uncertainties and reflect Ligand's judgment as of the date
of this release. These statements include those related to the level of
targeting, the utility, importance and value of LGD-7501, the HepDirect
technology, Ligand’s assets and the HCV Inhibitor program. Actual events or
results may differ from our expectations. For example, there can be no
assurance that LGD-7501 or other HepDirect or HCV Inhibitor drug candidates
will progress through clinical development or receive required regulatory
approvals within the expected timelines or at all, that further clinical
trials will confirm any safety or other characteristics or profile described
in this press release, that there will be a market of any size for such drug
candidates or that such drug candidates will be beneficial to patients or
successfully marketed. The failure to meet expectations with respect to any of
the foregoing matters may have a negative effect on Ligand's stock price.
Additional information concerning these and other risk factors affecting
Ligand's business can be found in prior press releases available via
www.ligand.com as well as in Ligand's public periodic filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov. Ligand disclaims any intent
or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of
this release. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Contact:

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
John Higgins, President and CEO
Jennifer Capuzelo, Investor Relations
858-550-7584
jcapuzelo@ligand.com
or
LHA
Don Markley, 310-691-7100
dmarkley@lhai.com
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.