San Diego-based biopharmaceuticals firms Ligand Pharmaceuticals and Metabasis Therapeutics announced this morning that Ligand is acquiring Metabasis, in a deal worth $3.2M in cash plus rights to receive payments from any royalties or licensing of programs in the future. According to Metabasis CEO Mark D. Erion, the sale was made due to the firm's "limited financial and operational resources." Metabasis was advised by Merriman Curhan Ford in the deal. Metabasis was developing small molecule drugs targeted at liver disease, hepatitis, type 2 diabetes, and carcinoma. The firm was backed by Interwest Partners, ITOCHU Corp., Maverick Capital, MPM Capital, Pan Pacific Venture Capital, Sprout Group, and the Wellcome Trust.