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Ligand Pockets $6.5M From Roche

San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: LGND) said today it has earned a $6.5 million milestone payment from Switzerland-based Roche in connection with the advancement of a hepatitis C drug candidate into clinical trials. The product, RG7348, was the subject of a collaboration in 2008 between Roche and Metabasis Therapeutics, which Ligand acquired in January. Ligand will keep $2.3 million of the new milestone, pay about $2.7 million to former Metabasis shareholders who were issued a “contingent value right” to milestones from Roche, and use the rest to cover pre-existing contractual obligations.