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PROMACTA Awarded 2009 Prix Galien for Best Biotechnology Product

SAN DIEGO-- Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) today announced that PROMACTA(R) (eltrombopag), a drug discovered in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), was recognized as "Best Biotechnology Product" by the Prix Galien USA committee on October 1, 2009. The 2009 Prix Galien USA is the pharmaceutical industry's highest R&D accolade for treatments that could change the course of healthcare worldwide. The Prix Galien Award recognizes the technical, scientific and clinical research skills necessary to develop innovative medicines, and is considered the equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

"We are very proud to see PROMACTA recognized at the highest levels of our industry," said Ligand Chief Executive Officer John L. Higgins. "The Prix Galien is a testament to our drug discovery collaboration partnership with GlaxoSmithKline and Ligand's ability to discover and develop drugs that will benefit patients worldwide."

About Prix Galien USA

Prix Galien ( was first established in 1970 by French pharmacist Roland Mehl and was inaugurated in the United States in September 2007. The Prix Galien USA awards committee of 11 individuals includes seven Nobel Laureates, founders of major biotechnology companies and editors of world-renowned biology journals.

About Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ligand discovers and develops new drugs that address critical unmet medical needs of patients with muscle wasting, frailty, hormone-related diseases, osteoporosis, inflammatory diseases, anemia, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Ligand's proprietary drug discovery and development programs are based on advanced cell-based assays, gene-expression tools, ultra-high throughput screening and one of the world's largest combinatorial chemical libraries. Ligand has strategic alliances with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Cephalon, GlaxoSmithKline, Schering-Plough, Pfizer and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. With nine pharmaceutical agreements and more than 20 molecules in various stages of development, Ligand utilizes proprietary technologies for identifying drugs with novel receptor and enzyme drug targets.

Caution Regarding 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. Additional information concerning risk factors affecting Ligand can be found in prior press releases available at as well as in public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available via Ligand disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of this press release. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

    Source: Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated