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Ligand closes $42.3M acquisition of UK-based biotechnology company

San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. completed the acquisition of U.K.-based drug discovery biotechnology company Vernalis PLC for about $42.3 million.

According to an Oct. 10 press release, the consideration paid to Vernalis shareholders was offset by about $32 million of net cash on hand at Vernalis.

The completion follows the approval of the acquisition by Vernalis shareholders. The acquisition gave Ligand access to eight partnered programs, including those in the respiratory, oncology and central nervous system sectors, as well as a 70-person research and development team based in Cambridge, U.K.

MTS Securities LLC and finnCap Ltd. served as financial advisers, while Latham Watkins LLP served as legal adviser to Ligand for the deal.