San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals closed its acquisition of Vernalis Plc in a deal that Ligand said will add “shots on goal” to its portfolio.

Ligand paid Vernalis shareholders about $42.3 million, offset by Vernalis’ $32 million of cash on hand after deal costs. The San Diego company develops and acquires technologies that help pharmaceuticals discover and develop medicines, and Vernalis will now operate as a subsidiary.

Vernalis, headquartered in Cambridge, England, has 70 employees working on early-stage partnerships and out-licensing, with a portfolio encompassing respiratory, oncology and central nervous system diseases.

Through the acquisition Ligand gained eight programs, with potentially more on tap.

“We welcome the Vernalis team into the Ligand family and are pleased to add its expertise in structure-based drug discovery to our discovery technology platforms that we offer partners. The Vernalis team has proven its ability to generate novel drug candidates for its partners,” said John Higgins, Ligand CEO.

Vernalis earlier this year put itself up for sale following U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejections.