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5 Aug 2013

Ligand and Azure to Develop Novel Lasofoxifene Formulation

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has signed a global licence agreement that will see it develop a novel formulation of lasofoxifene.

It will work alongside Azure Biotech Inc, the president of whom is Dr David Thompson, who directed the Pfizer team that discovered the drug.

President and chief executive of Ligland John Higgins says that its partner's team is "highly motivated and well-positioned" to take on the project.

Lasofoxifene is an partial antagonist which binds to oestrogen to restore the bone-protecting effects of the female sex hormone to treat osteoporosis.

The medicine also has application in treating atrophic vaginitis, another condition caused by depleting oestrogen levels, which typically occurs in menopause.

Clinical trials involving more than 15,000 women have already verified the drug's safety and efficacy profile.

"The Azure team is excited to undertake the development of lasofoxifene in a new area of high medical need," Dr Thompson said.

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