Johnson & Johnson to Acquire Momenta for $6.5 Billion
3rd August 2020
US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to acquire autoimmune disease specialist Momenta Pharmaceuticals in an all-cash transaction of about $6.5 billion. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction expected to close in the second half of 2020, subject to antitrust approvals and customary conditions.
According to J&J, the deal was driven by the significant opportunity it sees in Momenta’s lead asset, nipocalimab, a clinically validated, potentially best-in-class anti-FcRn antibody. With nipocalimab J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceutical division gains the opportunity to pursue indications across several autoimmune diseases with substantial unmet need in maternal-fetal disorders, neuro-inflammatory disorders, rheumatology, dermatology and autoimmune hematology.
Potentially, Janssen could introduce multiple launches – many as first-in-class indications capable of achieving significant peak year sales, some of which could exceed $1 billion.
In July, nipocalimab received a rare pediatric disease designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for preventing hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN). At the same time, the agency also granted nipocalimab orphan drug designation in HDFN, a serious blood disorder that occurs when red blood cell incompatibility occurs between the mother and fetus in utero.
In addition to nipocalimab, J&J gets Momenta’s pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical assets. The US-based multinational said plans for the additional assets will be determined as more data becomes available, adding that they could offer further upside potential.
Jennifer Taubert, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticas, at J&J, said: “This acquisition broadens Janssen’s leadership in autoimmune diseases and provides us with a major catalyst for sustained growth. Autoantibody-driven diseases are often serious, and patients are underserved by current treatment options.” The healthcare giant plans to retain Momenta’s site in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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