IRAK4 is a signaling kinase associated with mutations of MYD88, which can be found in most patients with Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia, a rare B-cell cancer, and certain patients with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Additionally, IRAK4 is a key component of signaling pathways that regulate immune and inflammatory processes suggesting potential to treat autoimmune disorders.
Ligand will receive an upfront licensing fee of 125,000 shares of TG Therapeutics stock and is eligible for development and sales-based milestone payments and royalties on sales.
TG's Michael S. Weiss, executive chairman, interim chief executive officer and president, said, "We are excited to add the IRAK4 program to our portfolio. Preclinical models suggest inhibition of IRAK4 could provide therapeutic benefit in patients with certain B-cell malignancies. We were very impressed with Ligand's IRAK4 program and their team's ability to identify potent and selective inhibitors of IRAK4 and we look forward to carrying forward their work. While still early, the addition of the IRAK4 program complements our existing portfolio that target B-cell malignancies and disorders and can potentially be used alone or in combination with our existing product candidates in a genetically-defined subset of patients."