Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has signed an exclusive global license agreement with TG Therapeutics Inc. for the development and commercialization of Ligand’s Interleukin-1 Receptor Associated Kinase-4 — or IRAK-4 — inhibitors, Ligand announced.

The IRAK-4 program is in pre-clinical development for potential use in certain cancers and autoimmune diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement, San Diego-based Ligand (Nasdaq: LGND) is entitled to receive 125,000 shares of TG Therapeutics (Nasdaq: TGTX) common stock, valued at roughly $1 million at date of signing, and is eligible to receive $207 million in potential milestone payments. Ligand is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on future net sales of licensed products containing patented IRAK-4 inhibitors, Ligand said.

“This transaction is a clear illustration of our business model, which is focused on selecting promising drug targets, generating answers to key questions in the early research phase and then licensing the asset to a strong partner for further development,” said John Higgins, CEO and president of Ligand.

Higgins said TG has a proven ability in moving preclinical compounds into best-in-class clinical programs.

Ligand is a biopharmaceutical company that develops and acquires assets it believes will generate royalty revenue and produce sustainable profitability.

TG Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products for treating cancer and other underserved therapeutic needs.