Ligand Pharmaceuticals said today it acquired rights to more than 15 biologic development programs—along with their potential future milestone payments and royalties—from Selexis for $4 million cash.

The agreement is based on more than 15 Selexis commercial license agreement programs with various undisclosed pharmaceutical-company counterparties.

In a regulatory filing, Ligand said the programs were based on Selexis’ technology platform for cell-line development and scale-up to manufacturing of proteins for biologic therapeutics. Ligand added that the assets acquired from Selexis included a mix of new biologics and biosimilars in various stages of development ranging from preclinical through Phase III.

The acquisition expands Ligand’s portfolio to more than 120 fully-funded assets and increases the number of partners to more than 70, Ligand CEO John Higgins said in a statement.

“We believe this acquisition reinforces the strength of our shots-on-goal strategy and has the potential to provide Ligand with numerous new drivers of long-term growth,” Higgins added. “This is an efficient transaction that bolts on potentially lucrative economic rights to numerous new programs and follows the positive developments and successes we have realized with our first transaction with Selexis.”

In April 2013, Ligand acquired a portfolio of possible future royalty and milestone payments based on over 15 Selexis biologic development programs under commercial license agreement with various pharmaceutical-company partners. Ligand paid Selexis $4.6 million, including acquisition costs—consisting of $3.6 million in upfront cash and another $1 million in April 2014, according to a regulatory filing detailing Ligand’s first-quarter 2014 results.

Since that agreement was signed, Ligand said today, it has since received payments tied to development milestones amounting to “nearly 10%” of the acquisition price.








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