Ligand Partner Melinta Therapeutics Submits Baxdela New Drug Application for Hospital-Treated Skin Infections

- October 24th, 2016

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND) partner Melinta Therapeutics announced today that it has submitted New Drug Applications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval of IV and oral Baxdela.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND) partner Melinta Therapeutics, a privately held company developing novel antibiotics to treat serious bacterial infections, announced today that it has submitted New Drug Applications (NDAs) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of IV and oral Baxdela™ (delafloxacin) for the treatment of patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI).
Baxdela is an investigational anionic fluoroquinolone with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity,
including activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Melinta’s NDAs are based on the results of two Phase 3 studies (NCT01811732 and NCT01984684),
in both of which Baxdela met the primary endpoint of non-inferiority to
a combination regimen of vancomycin plus aztreonam in reducing lesion
size at the primary infection site at 48-to-72 hours. In addition,
Baxdela met the primary endpoint, the investigator assessment of
clinical cure, for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in both studies.
Baxdela was shown to be well-tolerated among Phase 3 study participants,
with less than 1% of patients discontinuing for treatment-related
adverse events. With the submission, Ligand has earned a $1.5 million
milestone payment. If approved, Ligand is entitled to receive a 2.5%
royalty on net sales of the IV formulation of Baxdela and an additional
$1.5 million approval milestone payment.
“Baxdela, if approved, represents a potentially attractive treatment
option for the nearly 3 million patients hospitalized annually in the
U.S. with serious skin infections,” stated Eugene Sun, M.D., Melinta’s
Chief Executive Officer. “These patients have a high rate of treatment
failure, and frequently have underlying medical conditions that pose
challenges to the choice of antibiotic. Baxdela has been tested in over
2,600 patients to date, and was well-tolerated with fewer than 1% of
Baxdela-treated patients discontinuing due to treatment-related adverse
events.”
Baxdela has been designated a Qualified Infectious Disease Product
(QIDP) by the U.S. FDA, which provides for priority review. According to
Melinta’s press release, Melinta could receive a regulatory decision by
mid-year 2017 consistent with Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA)
priority review timelines.
“Baxdela has demonstrated in clinical trials a broad spectrum of
activity and the ability to treat patients with serious co-morbidities,
both of which are compelling characteristics sought by physicians
according to our market research. We believe that Baxdela’s ability to
treat challenging patients in hospitals will be a major driver of
adoption,” concluded John Temperato, Melinta’s President and Chief
Operating Officer. “If approved, we plan to support the introduction of
Baxdela for the treatment of ABSSSI with a focused acute-care hospital
sales force. We believe we can further leverage the resources of such a
sales team in the future as we seek to complete clinical studies and
file applications to market Baxdela in additional indications such as
community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and complicated urinary tract
infections.”
About Baxdela
Baxdela (delafloxacin) is an investigational anionic fluoroquinolone
antibiotic for hospital-treated skin infections, known as acute
bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI). Baxdela has
robust in-vitro antimicrobial activity, including activity against
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a major cause
of hospital-treated skin infections, a favorable tolerability profile,
and both intravenous and oral dosage forms, which may facilitate
hospital discharge. The studies (studies 302 and 303) were Phase 3,
multicenter, randomized, double-blind, active-controlled trials to
evaluate IV and oral Baxdela compared with vancomycin plus aztreonam for
the treatment of patients with ABSSSI. Both studies met the primary
endpoints for efficacy.
Overall adverse event rates were similar between treatment arms in the
Phase 3 studies, which enrolled over 1,500 individuals. The most common
treatment-emergent adverse events in the Phase 3 studies on Baxdela were
diarrhea and nausea, which were generally mild and did not lead to
treatment discontinuation. The treatment discontinuation rate due to
treatment-related adverse events for patients treated with Baxdela in
the Phase 3 trials was 0.8%. Unlike some other quinolones, Baxdela has
not shown any potential for QT prolongation or phototoxicity in
definitive clinical studies. In addition, there were no elevated rates
of liver or glucose abnormalities compared to vancomycin plus aztreonam
in the clinical studies conducted to date.
The 450 mg tablet has been shown to have bioequivalent exposure (area
under the curve) to the 300 mg IV dose, and can be dosed without regard
to food. There are no anticipated drug-drug interactions with
delafloxacin other than co-administration with chelating agents.
Melinta is also assessing Baxdela in a clinical trial in patients with
hospital-treated community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) and
planning to initiate a clinical trial in complicated urinary tract
infections (cUTI) in the near future. Baxdela has been designated a
Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) and has been granted fast
track designation for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration.
About Ligand Pharmaceuticals
Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing or acquiring
technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop
medicines. Our business model creates value for stockholders by
providing a diversified portfolio of biotech and pharmaceutical product
revenue streams that are supported by an efficient and low corporate
cost structure. Our goal is to offer investors an opportunity to
participate in the promise of the biotech industry in a profitable,
diversified and lower-risk business than a typical biotech company. Our
business model is based on doing what we do best: drug discovery,
early-stage drug development, product reformulation and partnering. We
partner with other pharmaceutical companies to leverage what they do
best (late-stage development, regulatory management and
commercialization) to ultimately generate our revenue. Ligand’s Captisol®
platform technology is a patent-protected, chemically modified
cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and
stability of drugs. OmniAb® is a patent-protected transgenic
animal platform used in the discovery of fully human mono- and
bispecific therapeutic antibodies. Ligand has established multiple
alliances, licenses and other business relationships with the world’s
leading pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis, Amgen, Merck,
Pfizer, Celgene, Gilead, Janssen, Baxter International and Eli Lilly.
Follow Ligand on Twitter @Ligand_LGND.
Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements by Ligand that
involve risks and uncertainties and reflect Ligand’s judgment as of the
date of this release. These include statements regarding the timing of
review and approval, if any, by the FDA of the Baxdela NDA; the timing
of the $1.5 million payment payable to Ligand; the potential payments to
Ligand upon approval of Baxdela; and the description of the side effects
for Baxdela. Actual events or results may differ from our expectations.
For example, there can be no assurances that the FDA will approve
Baxdela or that, if approved, Melinta will successfully launch Baxdela;
the side effects or efficacy of Baxdela may prove different or worse
than the results from previous clinical trials; and Baxdela may not be
accepted as a treatment option by doctors and other health
professionals. In addition, there can be no assurance that Melinta will
make the required milestone payment. The failure to meet expectations
with respect to any of the foregoing matters may reduce Ligand’s stock
price. Additional information concerning these and other important risk
factors affecting Ligand can be found in Ligand’s prior press releases
available at www.ligand.com
as well as in Ligand’s public periodic filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, available at www.sec.gov.
Ligand disclaims any intent or obligation to update these
forward-looking statements beyond the date of this press release, except
as required by law. This caution is made under the safe harbor
provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

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