Daily Management Review

J&J To Acquire Autoimmune Disease Specialist Momenta For $6.5 Billion


J&J To Acquire Autoimmune Disease Specialist Momenta For $6.5 Billion
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is aiming to further augment its portfolio of autoimmune disease treatments as the pharma giant has agreed to acquire Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc in an all cash deal worth $6.5 billion, J&J said on Wednesday.
Momenta's experimental therapy, nipocalimab, which is currently being tested for myasthenia gravis, will go to J&J's Janssen unit because of the deal. Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disease which results in weakness in muscles. The treatment is also aimed for other diseases where the body is attacked by the body’s immune system itself.
Following the deal J&J expects that it would be able to get regulatory approval of the new treatment for several conditions and hopes that it will ultimately become a blockbuster drug for the company. The company has adopted a strategy focus more on its pharma business which is largest business segment.
After the news of the acquisition was announced, a 69.3 per cent rise in the shares of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Momenta was noted at $52.15 which was almost equivalent to the offer price for the shares at $52.50.
"Janssen will have the potential to introduce multiple launches, many as first-in-class indications with potential for significant peak year sales, some of which could exceed US$1 billion," Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.
A renewed strategic focus for J&J over the last two years had been to sell off some of its business units that manufacture medical devices for diabetes care while setting a target to increase its portfolio and presence in the fast growing medical segment such as in the area of treatments for cancer.
Momenta's experimental therapy nipocalimab is being developed targeted for treating diseases in which the body’s proteins and cells are attacked and damaged by the immune system of the bofy and the antibodies of the body itself.
It was just a few days that Principia Biopharma Inc as agreed to be acquired by France's drug making giant Sanofi in a deal worth $3.7 billion for a long pipeline of autoimmune disease treatments that is being currently being developed by Principia Biopharma.
According to estimates made by Johnson & Johnson, about 2.5 per cent of the total population of the globe suffers from one or the other type of autoantibody-driven disease and many of those medical conditions are classified as rare diseases, the company said.
The drug Stelara yay that is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson is one that was developed for treatment of an autoimmune disease called psoriatic arthritis.
Johnson & Johnson is also in the race for development of a possible vaccine for the novel coronavirus and has struck deals recently with the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom for supplying doses of the vaccine if the development efforts are successful.