Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Johnson & Johnson to buy Actelion for $30bn

PBR Staff Writer Published 27 January 2017

US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to acquire Swiss biopharmaceutical firm Actelion for $30bn.

Actelion discovers, develops and commercializes new drugs for diseases with significant unmet medical need.

As part of the deal, Actelion will spin out its drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical development assets into a newly created Swiss biopharmaceutical firm.

J&J will initially hold 16% of the shares of the new company, with an option to buy another 16%. It will be led by Actelion CEO and co-founder Jean-Paul Clozel.

J&J is paying $280 a share in cash for Actelion, retaining the company's commercially available treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension, and several drugs in late-stage development.

The deal will give J&J Actelion's existing PAH franchise, which includes its Opsumit, Uptravi®, Tracleer, Veletri, and Ventavis.

Other Actelion products included in the deal are Valchlor (mechlorethamine gel) for the treatment of stage IA and IB mycosis fungoides-type cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (MF-CTCL), and Zavesca (miglustat), a reversible inhibitor of glucosylceramide synthase for the treatment adult patients with mild to moderate type 1 Gaucher disease.

J&J will also secure worldwide rights to ponesimod, an sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P1) receptor 1 modulator in Phase III development for multiple sclerosis, and the antibiotic cadazolid, which is in phase III development to treat Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea.

Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky said: “Actelion has built an attractive, growing business with world-class commercial and clinical development capabilities.

“Adding Actelion’s portfolio to our already strong Janssen Pharmaceuticals business is a unique opportunity for us to expand our portfolio with leading, differentiated in-market medicines and promising late-stage products.”

The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the second quarter of this year.

Image: Johnson & Johnson Headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Photo: courtesy of user:ekem, English Wikipedia.