Two Steps Back: Ligand Ditches Commercial Assets
In early September, Ligand Pharmaceuticals announced it had unloaded its entire portfolio of marketed compounds, bringing in $518 million. The move goes against the grain of conventional wisdom in the biopharma world these days, where companies are still scrambling for clinical and commercial assets to forward integrate their businesses.
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Endo expanded its generics business by purchasing Dava, EMD Serono partnered with Mersana on antibody-drug conjugates and Ligand in-licensed a cancer and autoimmune disease candidate from TG Therapeutics. It was all part of a hectic deal-making week coinciding with the annual BIO conference in San Diego.
The start-up is launching with a focus on metabolic and endocrine disorders through a deal with Ligand that will flesh out its pipeline and give it a major shareholder.
Given the competition for increasingly rare pipeline-fillers, most of today's licensing and M&A deals are auctions--a term used loosely to describe any situation where there's more than one bidder for an asset. But auctions come in various flavors; knowing which one to use requires a deep understanding of your asset, and its value to others.