Ligand snaps up CyDex in $35.5M buyout

With one eye on adding revenue to the books and another focused on new delivery technology, San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals ($LGND) has snagged CyDex Pharmaceuticals for $31.2 million in cash and the promise of a $4.3 million bump on the first anniversary of the deal. CyDex booked $16.2 million in revenue last year.

CyDex specializes in coming up with new formulations of existing drugs. Its five approved drugs will add some badly needed income for Ligand, which also gains access to new technology-dubbed Captisol--that relies on sugar molecules to control the delivery of therapeutics. Ligand gains a range of therapies for bipolar disease, schizophrenia and canine motion sickness.

"Ligand will now combine the royalties from seven marketed drugs, along with the substantial revenue from the selling of Captisol, to advance Ligand toward its goal of turning cash-flow positive with substantial future growth opportunities," says Ligand CEO John Higgins. This growth will be largely fueled by what Ligand believes is an industry unprecedented portfolio of more than 50 fully-funded partnered development programs, creating a myriad of new revenue stream possibilities."

- see the Ligand release
- and here's the Union-Tribune story