Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that Merck & Co. Inc., known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has received approval for its drug candidate,Noxafil, which was created using technology enabled by Ligand’s Captisol.

Ligand (NASDAQ: LGND) earned a $550,000 milestone payment as a result of the approval. Ligand will sell Captisol to Merck for the product marketed in Europe under an existing commercial supply agreement.

Noxafil is a novel triazole antifungal agent with demonstrated broad-spectrum activity, covering both yeast and molds responsible for serious invasive fungal infections. The availability of a Noxafil formulation for intravenous administration is particularly important for those patients who may benefit from or require intravenous therapy, or who might not be able to take an oral formulation.

Capitsol is a patent-protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. There are currently more than 50 Captisol-enabled products in development.