Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND) has opened an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has obtained FDA approval to initiate clinical development for its Glucagon Receptor Antagonist program with LGD-6972 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The company plans to initiate Phase I clinical testing in the fourth quarter of 2013. “The opening of this IND is an important milestone for Ligand’s novel glucagon receptor antagonist program, as glucagon receptor antagonism may have a key role to play in the treatment and management of type 2 diabetes,” commented Matthew W. Foehr, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Ligand. “We consider this one of our most significant unpartnered programs and look forward to beginning Phase I clinical development. We plan to assess the partnering landscape after the Phase I clinical trials are completed.” About Ligand’s Glucagon Receptor Antagonist Program Glucagon is a hormone produced by the pancreas that stimulates the liver to produce glucose (sugar). Overproduction of glucose by the liver is an important cause of high plasma glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and is believed to be due in part to inappropriately elevated levels of glucagon. High plasma glucose levels can cause diabetic complications such as blindness and kidney disease. Glucagon receptor antagonists are designed to lower plasma glucose levels by reducing the production of glucose by the liver. Glucagon receptor antagonists are novel molecules that have demonstrated a reduction of plasma glucose and hemoglobin A1c in patients with type 2 diabetes in mid-stage clinical trials. About Ligand Pharmaceuticals Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company focused on assembling a large portfolio of revenue generating assets through licensing and acquisition with the goal to generate sustainable cash-flow and 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, Lundbeck Inc., Eli Lilly & Co. and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. Please visit www.captisol.com for more information on Captisol and www.ligand.com for more information on Ligand. Follow Ligand on Twitter @Ligand_LGND.