San Diego-based Ligand is looking to snap up UK biotech Vernalis for approximately $43 million.

Under the terms of the proposed UK scheme of arrangement, Ligand would pay Vernalis shareholders £0.062 per share in cash, valuing Vernalis at approximately £32.8 million or $43 million.

Vernalis announced in March that as part of its then-ongoing strategic review, it had decided to commence a formal sales process. If Ligand’s offer is approved by Vernalis shareholders, the transaction is expected to close in October 2018.

As well as giving Ligang a European base, acquiring Vernalis would provide the company with a portfolio of more than eight fully-funded partnered programmes, including programmes in the respiratory, oncology and CNS sectors.