J&J makes major deal to bolster pipeline for autoimmune drugs

Aug. 19, 2020

Johnson and Johnson has announced that it is buying Momenta Pharmaceuticals for about $6.5 billion. 

The company said that the acquisition with strengthen its pipeline for hard-to-treat autoimmune disease treatments. As part of the deal, J&J’s Janssen unit will take over the global rights to nipocalimab, an experimental drug being tested on a range of autoimmune diseases including warm antibody hemolytic anemia. Nipoclimab belongs to a class of drugs called FcRn antibodies, which analysts at SVBLeerink have estimated could generate $20-25 billion in sales by 2030. 

J&J predicts that the acquisition of Momenta’s pipeline of experimental treatments could create more than $1 billion in annual sales.

According to Reuters, there have been 829 M&A deals in the pharma and biotech sectors so far this year — down from 839 at the same time last year. The total value of M&A deals this year (around $62 billion) is also lower than at the same time in 2019 (about $290 billion).

Read the full Wall Street Journal report.