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Ligand (LGND) Diabetes Candidate Positive in Phase II Study

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (LGND - Free Report) announced positive top-line results from a phase II study evaluating its diabetes candidate, LGD-6972. The study achieved a statistically significant change in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a measure of blood glucose, from baseline after 12 weeks of treatment.

The candidate, as a supplement to diet and exercise, was studied in patients on metformin monotherapy with inadequately controlled type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

More details from the study will be provided in future scientific conferences and published in a peer-reviewed publication.

Shares of the company rose 1.5% in Tuesday’s trading following the announcement, touching a new 52-week high of $132.49. In fact, Ligand has outperformed the industry so far this year with a gain of 28.8% compared with the industry’s rise of 15%.

The phase II study evaluated three doses of LGD-6972, viz., 5 mg, 10 mg and 15 mg versus placebo in T2DM patients. Data showed that the candidate achieved a reduction in HbA1c of 0.9% for 5mg, 0.92% for 10 mg and 1.2% for 15mg dose compared to 0.15% for placebo. The candidate was safe and well tolerated in patients with no changes in lipids, body weight or blood pressure after completion of treatment.

Diabetes is a growing concern worldwide. Per the press release, there are over 400 million people affected by diabetes worldwide with approximately 30 million people in the United States. Another 84 million are prediabetic. Of the total population of the United States, 33% are estimated to be affected by diabetes by 2050.

Global Drug Forecast & Market Analysis estimates the diabetes market to double to $68 billion by 2022.

Ligand’s top line is driven by royalties on sales of several drugs including Novartis AG’s (NVS - Free Report) Promacta, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (SPPI - Free Report) Evomela and Amgen Inc.’s (AMGN - Free Report) Kyprolis as these use the former’s Captisol technology during manufacturing.

Ligand sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is part of an industry that ranks in the top 37%.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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