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Ligand Pharmaceuticals to acquire Crystal Bioscience for $25M

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to acquire privately held Crystal Bioscience Inc.

Under the merger agreement, the company will pay Crystal shareholders $25 million in cash at closing, plus up to an additional $10.5 million in milestone payments and revenue sharing from existing licensees for a defined period.

Crystal Bioscience's HuMab technology uses a chicken-based human antibody platform to generate human antibodies. HuMab technology will be called OmniChicken and will become part of Ligand's OmniAb antibody discovery platform.

The deal also provides Ligand with an in-house antibody discovery laboratory to service OmniChicken research and development needs through contracted service.

Ligand expects some of its existing OmniAb partners and potential new partners will utilize OmniChicken technology. Crystal's current licensees include Boehringer Ingelheim Corp., Alexo Therapeutics Ltd, and Achaogen, Inc.