Ligand Buying Pfenex

San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) announced plans to acquire Pfenex Inc (NYSE:PFNX) for $12 per share in cash.

n addition, Ligand will pay $2.00 per share or $78 million as a Contingent Value Right (CVR) in the event a predefined regulatory milestone is achieved by December 31, 2021, for a total transaction value of up to $516 million. The closing of this transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to occur in the fourth quarter.

Pfenex is a development and licensing biotechnology company focused on leveraging its proprietary Pfenex Expression Technology, which offers a robust, validated, cost-effective and scalable approach to recombinant protein production, and is especially well-suited for complex, large-scale protein production that cannot be made by more traditional systems.

The technology is currently out-licensed for numerous commercial and development-stage programs, as well as used by Pfenex in developing an early stage product pipeline and nanobody discovery and development capability.

The versatile platform has demonstrated consistent success in the production of enzymes, peptides, antibody derivatives and engineered non-natural proteins. Partners seek the Pfenex technology as it can contribute significant value to biopharmaceutical development programs by reducing development timelines and costs for manufacturing human therapeutics and vaccines.

Pfenex’s expertise in the expression of complex proteins is highly complementary to Ligand’s industry-leading antibody and drug enabling technologies, building a comprehensive discovery and early stage platform.

LGND shares dropped $1.91, or 1.6%, to $116.76, while those for PFNX plunged $1.91, or 13.2%, to $12.55 early Tuesday.