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TICKERS: LGND

California-Based Biopharma Signs Licensing Deal for Acquired Asset
Research Report

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The transaction details and the drug platform's potential are addressed in an H.C. Wainwright & Co. report.

In May 21 research note, H.C. Wainwright & Co. analyst Joseph Pantginis reported that Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LGND:NASDAQ) signed a licensing deal with Cumulus Oncology granting the private company the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Ligand's VER250840. Cumulus Oncology is developing cancer therapies in areas of high unmet need.

Per the agreement, Pantginis explained, Ligand may receive more than $76 million of milestone payments, tiered royalties in the mid to high single-digit range depending on revenue, an upfront license fee and another fee in cash or equity following Cumulus getting financing or reaching certain financing events.

VER250840 is a selective checkpoint kinase 1 inhibitor, originally developed using the Vernalis design platform (VDP) platform (Ligand acquired Vernalis in 2018).

As VER250840 and other VDP-based assets advance "with partners' money," Pantginis commented, "Ligand is creating the basis for additional revenue streams from clinical and eventually commercial milestones, which once again should build value for shareholders."

The analyst pointed out, too, that the VDP platform has "great potential" because it could yield many drug candidates long term. Today, that portfolio contains more than 5,000 projects.

Finally, Pantginis noted that although Ligand continues to execute its business strategy, which is to develop revenue streams and deliver shareholder value, its stock remains undervalued. This is unwarranted, he added, "as value drivers abound."

H.C. Wainwright has a Buy rating and a $214 price target on Ligand, whose stock is currently trading at around $113.28 per share.

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Disclosures from H. C. Wainwright, Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., First Take, May 21, 2019

Investment Banking Services include, but are not limited to, acting as a manager/co-manager in the underwriting or placement of securities, acting as financial advisor, and/or providing corporate finance or capital markets-related services to a company or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries within the past 12 months.

I, Joseph Pantginis, Ph.D., certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.

None of the research analysts or the research analyst's household has a financial interest in the securities of Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc., MEI Pharma, Inc. and Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).

As of April 30, 2019 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of LigandPharmaceuticals, Inc., MEI Pharma, Inc. and Viking Therapeutics, Inc.

Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.

The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.

The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from MEI Pharma, Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.

The Firm or its affiliates did receive compensation from Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Viking Therapeutics, Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, and will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report. ices within three months following publication of the research report.

The Firm does not make a market in Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc., MEI Pharma, Inc. and Viking Therapeutics, Inc. as of the date of this research report.

H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC and its affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, excluding its analysts, will from time to time have long or short positions in, act as principal in, and buy or sell, the securities or derivatives (including options and warrants) thereof of covered companies referred to in this research report.




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