Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Basis of Presentation (Accrued Liabilities and Other Long-Term Liabilities) (Details)

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Basis of Presentation (Accrued Liabilities and Other Long-Term Liabilities) (Details) (USD $)
In Thousands, unless otherwise specified
Mar. 31, 2015
Dec. 31, 2014
Accrued Liabilities    
Compensation $ 795us-gaap_EmployeeRelatedLiabilitiesCurrent $ 1,708us-gaap_EmployeeRelatedLiabilitiesCurrent
Professional fees 359us-gaap_AccruedProfessionalFeesCurrent 459us-gaap_AccruedProfessionalFeesCurrent
Amounts owed to former licensees 1,627us-gaap_InterestPayableCurrent 925us-gaap_InterestPayableCurrent
Royalties owed to third parties 809us-gaap_AccruedRoyaltiesCurrent 705us-gaap_AccruedRoyaltiesCurrent
Other 673us-gaap_OtherAccruedLiabilitiesCurrent 1,069us-gaap_OtherAccruedLiabilitiesCurrent
Total accrued liabilities 4,263us-gaap_AccruedLiabilitiesCurrent 4,866us-gaap_AccruedLiabilitiesCurrent
Other Long-Term Liabilities    
Deposits 430lgnd_DepositsLiabilitiesNoncurrent 411lgnd_DepositsLiabilitiesNoncurrent
Deferred rent 318us-gaap_DeferredRentCreditNoncurrent 327us-gaap_DeferredRentCreditNoncurrent
Other 32lgnd_OtherOtherLiabilitiesNoncurrent 32lgnd_OtherOtherLiabilitiesNoncurrent
Total other long-term liabilities $ 780us-gaap_OtherLiabilitiesNoncurrent $ 770us-gaap_OtherLiabilitiesNoncurrent