Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) today announced that its partner Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE:PFE) launched Viviant® (Bazedoxifene) in Japan for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Under the brand name Conbriza®, the drug is also marketed in Spain through a co-promotion with Almirall, an international pharmaceutical company based in Spain. Pfizer received manufacturing and marketing approval for the product in Japan in July 2010. Viviant was approved in April 2009 by the European Commission (under the trade name Conbriza®) for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis in women at increased risk of fracture.

Viviant, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), is a result of the successful research collaboration between Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Ligand that began in 1994. Pfizer is responsible for the registration and worldwide marketing of bazedoxifene, a synthetic drug specifically designed to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures while also protecting uterine tissue. Ligand is entitled to receive tiered royalties on net sales of bazedoxifene.

"We are excited to see the progress of Viviant as it provides a new osteoporosis treatment option to postmenopausal women. This is now the third product that Ligand will earn royalties from out of a large portfolio of partnered, royalty bearing programs," said John L. Higgins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ligand Pharmaceuticals. "Viviant's commercial introduction in Japan and Spain reflects the quality of Ligand's collaborations and the expertise of its partners in business, product development and international regulatory affairs."


In a pivotal Phase III study involving more than 7,600 women worldwide, Viviant achieved a significant 42 percent reduction in the incidence of new vertebral fractures. In addition, a post-hoc analysis showed the incidence of non-vertebral fractures in a high-risk population was reduced by 50 percent and 44 percent compared to placebo and raloxifene, respectively.

Due to this efficacy data on relative risk reduction for vertebral and non-vertebral fractures, and the product's endometrial tissue profile compared with placebo, bazedoxifene is positioned to become the leading representative of third generation SERMs and a promising therapeutic innovation for women with postmenopausal osteoporosis at increased risk of fractures.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals