San Diego Business Journal

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Does Licensing Deal and Investment With San Diego Startup

By Meghana Keshavan Thursday, May 22, 2014

San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has licensed five of its programs to Viking Therapeutics Inc.; Ligand is also investing $2.5 million in Viking, a San Diego startup.

Stock for Ligand (Nasdaq: LGND) rose 3 percent, or $1.90, on the news, closing at $65.09 on May 22.

The programs licensed by Viking include therapies for type 2 diabetes and anemia. Ligand’s course of action has been to internally establish proof-of-concept and initial data, then partner with outside companies to manage more advanced clinical and regulatory development. It will be Viking’s task to further these programs, and the $2.5 million investment will help support that, Ligand President and CEO John Higgins said.

"This is a creative licensing transaction that combines a bold portfolio of early- and mid-stage assets with a company that can advance these programs to major inflection points in the near-term,” Higgins said.