Ligand sells off cancer products in restructuring

Ligand Pharmaceuticals has sold a line of cancer drugs to Eisai for $205 million, a day after announcing a separate deal for Avinza. The deal covers Ligand's four approved products--Ontak, Targretin capsules, Targretin gel and Panretin gel--and related assets. "We have now sold our two commercial operations for total cash consideration of $518 million. With the sale of our commercial operations, Ligand will become a dynamic and highly-specialized R&D and royalty company," said Henry F. Blissenbach, Ligand chairman and CEO. "By the end of 2006, Ligand expects to have new corporate leadership, to have restructured and narrowly focused its research and development endeavors in order to focus on our most promising compounds, and to minimize its expense structure with a goal to be both earnings and cash-flow positive."

- check out the AP report on the deal