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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Janssen to grow from $6.5bn acquisition of Momenta Pharma

Health Industry Hub | August 24, 2020 |

Pharma News: Johnson & Johnson announces its plans to acquire Momenta Pharmaceuticals, a company that discovers and develops novel therapies for immune-mediated diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), for approximately $6.5 billion.

This acquisition provides an opportunity for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson to broaden its leadership in immune-mediated diseases and drive further growth through expansion into autoantibody-driven disease.

Janssen’s Remicade (infliximab) was a blockbuster due to approvals in a range of inflammatory diseases including Crohn’s, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. First generation of antibody-based drugs like Remicade have been hit by lower cost biosimilars. There is a need for newer drugs that outperform standard therapy from a safety and efficacy perspective.

The J&J and Momenta transaction will include full global rights to nipocalimab (M281), a clinically validated, potentially best-in-class anti-FcRn antibody.

Nipocalimab gives Janssen the opportunity to reach significantly more patients by pursuing indications across many autoimmune diseases with substantial unmet medical need in maternal-fetal disorders, neuro-inflammatory disorders, rheumatology, dermatology and autoimmune haematology. Nipocalimab recently received a rare paediatric disease designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Momenta’s expertise in FcRn mechanisms is especially important for nipocalimab as it supports and accelerates the development of a medicine designed to target a number of autoantibody-driven conditions across several of Janssen’s established therapeutic areas. Janssen expects nipocalimab to contribute to its goals of achieving above-market growth over the mid and long term.

Autoimmune diseases driven partially or completely by autoantibodies represent a novel area where Janssen can significantly improve health outcomes for patients. In autoantibody-driven diseases, the body’s antibodies attack or damage its own proteins, cells and tissues, often with devastating consequences. Autoantibody-driven diseases include Myasthenia Gravis, Hemolytic Diseases of the Fetus and Newborn, warm Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, and other serious dermatologic, rheumatic, neurologic, hematologic and renal diseases. An estimated 2.5 percent of the population, or approximately 195 million people worldwide, suffer from some form of autoantibody-driven disease, many of which are orphan and rare diseases.

“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,” said Jennifer Taubert, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. “We’re excited by the opportunity to further advance patient care by combining Johnson & Johnson’s world-class R&D, commercial and supply chain capabilities with Momenta’s talented people, pipeline and deep expertise in this important area.”

In addition to Momenta’s employees and lead asset nipocalimab, Janssen will acquire Momenta’s pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical assets. The acquisition was driven by the significant opportunity seen in nipocalimab, along with the scientific capability Janssen is acquiring with the Momenta team.

“Nipocalimab, and the rest of Momenta’s pipeline, built over many years by outstanding scientists who have turned important insights into actionable biology, expands and complements our portfolio by giving us clinical-stage and discovery-stage compounds in autoantibody biological pathways. Combining Momenta’s discoveries with our 20-year heritage in immunology, global scope, and scientific and medical expertise, we see a real opportunity to create an entire ‘pipeline in a pathway,’” said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Janssen Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson. “We are excited about the significant potential to expand on Momenta’s excellent progress in rare diseases, and to increase our impact on patients both within and beyond our current focus areas.”


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