Ligand Pharmaceuticals to Acquire Apeiron Biologics for €92 Million

09.07.2024 - Ligand Pharmaceuticals recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Apeiron Biologics AG, which holds royalty rights to Qarziba (dinutuximab beta) for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma, for €92 million ($100 million) in cash.

Ligand will pay Apeiron shareholders additional consideration based on future commercial and regulatory events, including up to €25.9 million ($28 million) if Qarziba royalties exceed certain predetermined thresholds by either 2030 or 2034, respectively.

Apeiron is known for its innovative approaches in immuno-oncology and received marketing approval from the European Medicines Agency for Qarziba in 2017 for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma. Ligand Pharmaceuticals is a US-based biopharmaceutical company supporting the clinical development of high-value medicines.

“The addition of Qarziba to our commercial royalty portfolio further supports our growth strategy to invest in high-value medicines that deliver significant clinical value and generate predictable and long-term revenue streams for our investors,” said Todd Davis, CEO of Ligand. “Qarziba is the only immunotherapy for high-risk neuroblastoma marketed across Europe and in other parts of the world. We believe this drug will be a meaningful contributor to our royalty revenue, which is now driven by a diversified portfolio of 12 key commercial-stage products.”

Peter Llewellyn-Davies, CEO of Apeiron commented, “This transaction is an important milestone for our company and shareholders. We have spent more than 20 years translating academic research into therapeutic products for diseases with high unmet needs. Our team was honored to help bring Qarziba to the young patients who need it. We appreciate that Ligand recognizes the long-term potential of this critical drug for a rare pediatric cancer.”

Ligand is also entering into a stock purchase agreement whereby it has committed to investing up to €3.7 million ($4 million) in Invios Holding AG, a privately held spin-off of Apeiron. The proceeds will help finance the research and development of three innovative early-stage immuno-oncology assets. Apeiron is entitled to royalties and milestone payments on these assets which will further expand Ligand’s development stage portfolio. This transaction is expected to close in July 2024.



Apeiron Biologics AG

Campus-Vienna-Biocenter 5
A-1030 Wien

+43 86565 77
+43 86565 77 800

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc.

555 Heritage Drive, Suite 200
33458 Jupiter
FL, United States

+1(858) 550-7500