Ligand Enters Commercial License and Supply Agreements with Marinus Pharmaceuticals for Captisol-Enabled Ganaxolone

Ligand Pharmaceuticals announced that it has entered into commercial License and Supply Agreements (License Agreement) with Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., granting rights to use Ligand’s Captisol in the formulation of its intravenous (IV) ganaxolone. Captisol is a patent protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. Marinus is preparing to initiate clinical trials with Captisol-enabled ganaxolone IV in patients with postpartum depression (PPD) and status epilepticus (SE).

This License Agreement replaces the prior research agreement which allowed Marinus to evaluate ganaxolone IV with Captisol in preclinical and Phase 1 clinical studies. Under this new agreement, Marinus receives exclusive worldwide rights to Captisol-enabled ganaxolone for use in humans. In addition to an upfront payment, Ligand is entitled to potential milestone payments, royalties and revenue from future sales of Captisol-enabled ganaxolone.

“This agreement allows Captisol-enabled ganaxolone to go into later-stage testing and potential commercialization in indications that have significant unmet clinical needs,” said John Higgins, Chief Executive Officer of Ligand Pharmaceuticals. “Ligand’s portfolio of fully-funded shots on goal continues to grow and contains a large number of Captisol-enabled drugs. We continue to be encouraged by the recent progress of our partners, including Marinus.”

“Ganaxolone IV formulated with Captisol has produced a good safety, tolerability, and toxicity profile in preclinical and Phase 1 testing,” commented Christopher M. Cashman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marinus Pharmaceuticals. “We look forward to moving ganaxolone IV into Phase 2 clinical trials in patients with PPD and SE this year.”

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