LIGAND PLANS FOUR INDSLigand Pharmaceuticals of San Diego has built its strategyaround intracellular receptors, said the company's chiefexecutive officer, David Robinson. First discovered about sevenyears ago, about 40 ligands have been described. The companysaid it expects to file four INDs in 1994 for compounds forselective cancer applications, including one that blocksprogesterone in human breast cancer cell lines, but does notinteract with other human intracellular receptors.
Ligand is also developing selective retinoid hormones fortreating leukemia and psoriasis. One of these is the first novelretinoid hormone discovered in the past 27 years, Robinsonsaid. Selective retinoids will be much less restricted inapplications than conventional ones, such as Accutane andRetin-A.
Ligand also is collaborating with James Darnell of RockefellerUniversity to search for new compounds for treating cancerand inflammatory diseases. The unique strategy involvesstudying "receptor activated factors of transcription,"compounds that are involved in the regulation of interferon.
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