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Double-Crane In-Licenses Asia Rights to Oral COVID-19 Antiviral

publication date: Oct 21, 2021
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

China Resources Double-Crane Pharma acquired Asia rights to a novel oral COVID-19 antiviral therapeutic compound developed by California's Ligand Pharma (NSDQ: LGND). The candidate was discovered using Ligand's BEPro proprietary prodrug technology that is aimed at nucleotides and nucleotide analogs. Ligand says the technology produces candidates with improved efficacy and safety profiles. CRDC, which will be responsible for all costs for developing the antiviral in Asia, will make an upfront payment to Ligand, plus pay milestones and tiered royalties on net sales.

In preclinical tests, pharmacokinetics data showed Ligand's COVID-19 antivirals have a favorable blood concentration profile and generate lower levels of active nucleotide in the kidney, a potential site for toxicity, when compared to other oral and intravenous competitors. Ligand has filed multiple patents globally on the BEPro technology and potential antiviral compounds.

"This transaction with CRDC is another deal in a long history of success converting our inventions, data and intellectual property into licenses to advance important medicines and deliver value to our shareholders," said John Higgins, CEO of Ligand. "We are proud of the important work our team has contributed toward addressing the pandemic and are pleased with this new collaboration. China Resources Group is one of the largest Chinese pharmaceutical companies and is looking forward to robust development of this program through their subsidiary CRDC.”

China Resources Double-Crane Pharmaceutical’s business includes new drug research and development, preparations production, sales and marketing, pharmaceutical equipment and API production. CRDC develops products for chronic diseases, infusion solutions, pediatrics, nephrology, psychiatry and neurology.

Ligand focuses on developing or acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. Its business model stresses drug discovery, early-stage drug development, product reformulation and partnering. It partners with other pharmas for late-stage development, regulatory affairs and commercialization. Its  OmniAb® technology platform is used to create fully human mono- and bispecific therapeutic antibodies.

See our other articles on Double-Crane and Ligand.

Disclosure: none.






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