RARE Daily

Johnson & Johnson to Acquire Momenta for $6.5 Billion

August 19, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Johnson & Johnson said it has entered into an agreement to acquire Momenta Pharmaceuticals, a developer of therapies for rare immune-mediated diseases, in an all cash transaction for $6.5 billion.

The acquisition will allow J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies to broaden its leadership in immune-mediated diseases and drive further growth through expansion into autoantibody-driven disease.

The deal gives the company full global rights to late-stage experimental therapy nipocalimab, a potential best-in-class drug in a new class of therapies. Nipocalimab is in development for warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia, myasthenia gravis, and hemolytic diseases of the fetus.

The drug provides Janssen an opportunity to reach patients across autoimmune conditions with substantial unmet medical need. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted rare pediatric disease designation to nipocalimab.

Though Janssen will acquire Momenta’s pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical assets, the significant opportunity seen in nipocalimab drove the acquisition, along with the scientific capability of the Momenta team.

Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the body’s antibodies attack or damage its own proteins, cells, and tissues. 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.

J&J said that 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 $1 billion, supporting Janssen’s goal of continuing to deliver above-market performance over the long term.

“Autoantibody-driven diseases are often serious, and patients are underserved by current treatment options,” said Jennifer Taubert, executive vice president and worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals for 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.”

Janssen’s plans for additional assets in the Momenta pipeline will be determined as more data become available and could offer further upside potential.

Under the terms of the transaction, Vigor Sub, a newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, will commence a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Momenta for $52.50 per share.

Janssen plans to keep Momenta’s presence in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2020. Following completion of the merger, Momenta’s common stock will no longer be listed for trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.


Photo: Jennifer Taubert, executive vice president and worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals for Johnson & Johnson

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