Avion Pharmaceuticals, LLC, signs Captisol® License Agreement with Ligand Pharmaceuticals to develop four new products

ATLANTA, Aug. 15, 2014 -- Avion Pharmaceuticals, LLC, announces the signing of a commercial license agreement withLigand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: LGND) for the development and commercialization of four Captisol-enabled programs. Under the terms of the agreement, Ligand is entitled to receive an up-front payment, and is eligible to receive revenue from Captisol® material sales, potential milestone payments, and royalties on future net sales of the products containing Captisol®.

"We are very pleased to formalize this new partnership with Ligand and the opportunities this provides Avion.  The Captisol® license agreement allows for continued expansion of our product portfolio and also helps optimize our product formulations, product performance and ultimately, prescriber and patient satisfaction," stated Mike Sullivan, President of Avion Pharmaceuticals.  "Captisol® will profoundly enrich Avion's future product development strategies."

Avion CEO Mark Pugh added, "The addition of Captisol® to Avion's product portfolio helps advance our mission to become the leading Women's Health specialty pharmaceutical company in the US by providing products that deliver maximum benefit along the continuum of care in women's lives."

About Avion Pharmaceuticals, LLC.
Avion Pharmaceuticals, LLC., is a Specialty Pharmaceutical company formed to develop and market a portfolio of innovative products in the Women's Heath and Dermatology therapeutic areas.  Avion Pharmaceuticals focuses on identifying opportunities to acquire and enhance the market potential of innovative, commercially available therapeutics and late-stage development drugs to fulfill unmet medical needs.  For additional information about Avion Pharmaceuticals please contact the company at 678-325-5188.

About Captisol®
Captisol is a patent-protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs.  The original form of Captisol was invented and initially developed by scientists in the laboratories of Dr. Valentino Stella at theUniversity of Kansas' Higuchi Biosciences Center for use in drug development and formulation.  This unique technology has enabled six FDA-approved products, including Onyx Pharmaceuticals' (now Amgen) Kyprolis®, Baxter International's Nexterone® and Merck's NOXAFIL® IV.  There are more than 30 Captisol-enabled products currently in clinical development.

About Ligand Pharmaceuticals
Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company that develops and acquires assets it believes will generate royalty revenues and, under its lean corporate cost structure, produce sustainable profitability. Ligand has a diverse asset portfolio addressing the unmet medical needs of patients for a broad spectrum of diseases including thrombocytopenia, multiple myeloma, diabetes, hepatitis, muscle wasting, dyslipidemia, anemia and osteoporosis. Ligand's Captisol platform technology is a patent-protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. Ligand has established multiple alliances with the world's leading pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Onyx Pharmaceuticals (now a subsidiary of Amgen Inc.), Merck, Pfizer, Baxter International, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Lundbeck Inc., Eli Lilly & Co., Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca. Please visit www.captisol.com for more information on Captisol or www.ligand.com for more information on Ligand.  Follow Ligand on Twitter @Ligand_LGND.