Ligand to buy UK biotech Vernaliss for $43 million

San Diego-based Ligand is looking to acquire UK biotech Vernalis for approximately $43 million. Vernalis announced in March that as part of its then-ongoing strategic review, it had decided to commence a formal sales process. If Ligand’s offer is approved by Vernalis shareholders, the transaction is expected to close in October 2018.

Under the terms of the proposed UK scheme of arrangement, Ligand would pay Vernalis shareholders £0.062 per share in cash, valuing Vernalis at approximately £32.8 million or $43 million.

As well as giving Ligand a European base, acquiring Vernalis would provide the company with a portfolio of more than eight fully-funded partnered programmes, including programmes in the respiratory, oncology and CNS sectors.