Company Update (NASDAQ:LGND): Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc Acquires Rights to More Than 15 Fully-Funded Development Programs from Selexis SA

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) has acquired a portfolio of potential future milestone and royalty payments for more than 15 biologic development programs from Selexis SA for $4 million in cash. Highlights of the transaction include the following:

  • The basis for the development programs and economic rights is a proprietary technology for manufacturing stable and high performing mammalian cell lines for biologic therapeutics
  • The acquired assets include a mix of novel biologics and biosimilars
  • The programs are in various stages of development ranging from preclinical through Phase 3
  • Each acquired program is fully funded by a development partner

In April 2013 Ligand acquired a separate portfolio of more than 15 programs from Selexis. Since that time many of the portfolio programs have advanced through the development process and Ligand has already received milestone payments amounting to nearly 10% of the acquisition price paid.

“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 the our first transaction with Selexis,” said John Higgins, Chief Executive Officer of Ligand. “This deal significantly expands Ligand’s already robust portfolio, which now exceeds 120 fully-funded assets. Importantly, it also diversifies our portfolio by increasing our number of partners to over 70 and further expands our potential biologics and biosimilars income streams. Biologics continue to be major revenue drivers and biosimilars, in particular, have enjoyed recent regulatory success and are becoming increasingly important to the pharmaceutical industry.”

Higgins continued, “The acquired rights are a great fit with our royalty-based business model, and the deal does not require operational integration or ongoing technical responsibilities from Ligand. 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.” (Original Source)

Shares of Ligand closed last Friday at $80.51 . LGND has a 1-year high of $90.48 and a 1-year low of $41.99. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $80.48 and its 200-day moving average is $62.95.

On the ratings front, Ligand has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 1, Deutsche Bank analyst Gregg Gilbert reiterated a Buy rating on LGND, with a price target of $94, which implies an upside of 16.8% from current levels. Separately, on March 5, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Irina Rivkind Koffler reiterated a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $65.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Gregg Gilbert and Irina Rivkind Koffler have a total average return of 21.3% and 33.7% respectively. Gilbert has a success rate of 77.3% and is ranked #214 out of 3596 analysts, while Koffler has a success rate of 68.4% and is ranked #15.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incis a biopharmaceutical company with a business model that is based upon the concept of developing or acquiring royalty revenue generating assets and coupling them with a lean corporate cost structure.

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