Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) partner TG Therapeutics, Inc.(NASDAQ:TGTX) announced the first presentation of preclinical data demonstrating single agent and combination activity of two of TG Therapeutics’ IRAK4 inhibitor compounds under development. This pre-clinical data was presented yesterday at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), held in Philadelphia, PA.
Highlights and conclusions of the study include:
- Both compounds are potent inhibitors of IRAK4 with single-digit nanomolar potency.
- Data demonstrated IRAK4 inhibitors inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis as single agents in various B-cell lymphoma cell lines, potentially elucidating the mechanism of action of and clinical rationale for IRAK4 inhibition.
- Compounds demonstrated marked synergy when combined with the novel targeted kinase inhibitors TGR-1202, TG Therapeutics’ proprietary PI3K delta inhibitor, and the BTK inhibitor, ibrutinib.
“We entered into our IRAK-4 partnership with TG Therapeutics last year knowing the promise of IRAK-4 as a target in both oncology and inflammation, as well as the opportunities for treatment synergies between IRAK-4 inhibitors and TG’s other best-in-class clinical-stage programs,” commented Matt Foehr, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ligand Pharmaceuticals. “These studies now further illustrate that potential, and we congratulate our partners at TG on their progress as they continue to quickly advance the IRAK-4 program toward the clinic.”
Shares of Ligand opened today at $86.23 and are currently trading down at $84.31. LGND has a 1-year high of $87.17 and a 1-year low of $41.99. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $75.45 and its 200-day moving average is $58.92.
On the ratings front, Ligand has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 1, Deutsche Bank analyst Gregg Gilbert reiterated a Buy rating on LGND, with a price target of $94, which implies an upside of 9.0% from current levels. Separately, on March 5, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Irina Rivkind Koffler reiterated a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $65.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Gregg Gilbert and Irina Rivkind Koffler have a total average return of 26.9% and 45.7% respectively. Gilbert has a success rate of 92.9% and is ranked #107 out of 3573 analysts, while Koffler has a success rate of 79.1% and is ranked #2.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incis a biopharmaceutical company with a business model that is based upon the concept of developing or acquiring royalty revenue generating assets and coupling them with a lean corporate cost structure.