Ligand Pharmaceutical cut to Sell at Cantor Fitzgerald

|About: Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inco... (LGND)|By:, SA News Editor

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND -3.4%) slips this morning after Cantor Fitzgerald cuts the shares from Hold to Sell on valuation, citing caution over the company's pipeline.

Regarding Merck's BACE inhibitor - from which LGND receives royalty payments - it says management published an update indicating that it won't know if a change in a biologic marker will result in clinical improvements in the disease until 2017 at the earliest. Cantor calls Alzheimer's "a risky space," and therefore won't include estimates for BACE at this stage.

The company also noted concerns about Promacta, saying it spoke with physicians who indicated that that the drug isn't necessary for HCV patients with thrombocytopenia to receive interferon treatment, and treatment paradigms are changing.