Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Ligand Rises on FDA Blood Drug Approval for Hepatitis C

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. rose the most in 14 months after its drug to help people with low blood platelet counts was approved by U.S. regulators for use in hepatitis C patients.

Ligand rose 14 percent to $19.07 at the close in New York, its biggest one-day gain since August 2011. The La Jolla, California-based company said today the Food and Drug Administration approved the medicine to enable hepatitis C patients with low blood platelet counts to take interferon therapy.

The company had sold the rights to the drug to London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc, which will pay Ligand royalties. Of the 4.2 million people in the U.S. with hepatitis C, about 3.5 percent have low blood platelet counts that disqualify them from treatment with interferon.

“Otherwise very sick patients, who had little to no therapeutic options, will now have an opportunity to potentially receive treatment for hepatitis C,” John Higgins, Ligand’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Interferon is given as a weekly injection for a year, carries flu-like side effects, and cures roughly half of patients.

The Ligand treatment wasn’t tested with new, experimental therapies that don’t include interferon. Pharmaceutical companies led by Gilead Sciences Inc., Abbott Laboratories and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. are developing pill-based hepatitis C treatments in a bid to replace interferon therapies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Drew Armstrong in New York at darmstrong17@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.