Viking Explores Metabolic Disorders With Drugs Licensed From Ligand
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
The start-up is launching with a focus on metabolic and endocrine disorders through a deal with Ligand that will flesh out its pipeline and give it a major shareholder.
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Deals continue outside of the focus on Pfizer/AstraZeneca, with Novartis expanding its ophthalmology portfolio; Viking licensing five metabolic disease candidates from Ligand; BioAlliance and Topotarget moving closer to a merger creating a new orphan oncology firm to be called Onxeo; Ventrus and Assembly planning their own merger to focus on hepatitis B; and Daiichi Sankyo and Sanford-Burnham signing an R&D collaboration on novel cardiovascular and metabolic disease targets.
In early September, Ligand Pharmaceuticals announced it had unloaded its entire portfolio of marketed compounds, bringing in $518 million. The move goes against the grain of conventional wisdom in the biopharma world these days, where companies are still scrambling for clinical and commercial assets to forward integrate their businesses.
Two companies in the biopharma space began trading publicly this week, one to pay off debt, the other to fund an early-stage pipeline.