About Captisol-enabled Melphalan
Ligand's Captisol-enabled, PG-free melphalan program is a new intravenous formulation of melphalan being investigated for the multiple myeloma transplant setting, and has been granted Orphan designation by the FDA. Ligand's formulation avoids the use of propylene glycol, which has been reported to cause renal and cardiac side-effects that limit the ability to deliver higher quantities of therapeutic compounds. The use of the Captisol
technology to reformulate melphalan is anticipated to allow for longer administration durations and slower infusion rates, potentially enabling clinicians to safely achieve a higher dose intensity of pre-transplant chemotherapy. In December 2012 Ligand announced the initiation of a pivotal trial of Captisol-enabled melphalan. This multi-center trial will evaluate safety and efficacy in 60 patients, and is intended to confirm the results from an earlier Phase 2 study demonstrating that the Captisol-enabled melphalan formulation was safe and well-tolerated, and met the requirements for establishment of bioequivalence to the current commercial intravenous formulation of melphalan (sold by GlaxoSmithKline as Alkeran
About Multiple Myeloma and Melphalan
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in the bone marrow. In multiple myeloma a group of plasma cells (myeloma cells) becomes cancerous and multiplies, raising the number of plasma cells to a higher-than-normal level. There are an estimated 20,000 new cases of multiple myeloma in the United States each year, with an incidence of new cases increasing by approximately 1.7% per year.
The current intravenous melphalan market is approximately $130 million annually, with predominant use in stem cell transplants. The rate of autologous stem cell transplants for patients with multiple myeloma is growing by approximately 3.3% annually.
Captisol is a patent-protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. Captisol was invented and initially developed by scientists in the laboratories of Dr. Valentino Stella at the University of Kansas' Higuchi Biosciences Center for specific use in drug development and formulation. This unique technology has enabled six FDA-approved products, including Onyx Pharmaceuticals’ Kyprolis
, Baxter International's Nexterone
and Pfizer's Vfend
IV. There are currently more than 30 Captisol-enabled products in development, including Lundbeck’s carbamazepine IV, The Medicines Company's MDCO-157 and Rib-X's delafloxacin IV program.
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
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