J&J Acquires Biopharmaceutical Company Covagen

Cilag GmbH International, an affiliate of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has acquired Covagen AG, a privately held, biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of multispecific protein therapeutics through the FynomAb technology platform. The opportunity was identified and facilitated through the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in London. 

The company's lead product, COVA 322, a bispecific anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha/anti-interleukin (IL)-17A FynomAb, is in Phase Ib study for psoriasis and holds potential as a treatment for a broad range of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. Covagen develops FynomAbs, multi-specific protein therapeutics, by fusing its fully human Fynomer binding proteins to antibodies. Fynomers are small binding proteins engineered to bind to target molecules with the same affinity and specificity as antibodies. The tailored architecture and novel mode of action of FynomAb therapeutics may offer enhanced efficacy in the treatment of a broad range of inflammatory diseases and other conditions.  Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Covagen will maintain a research presence in Zurich-Schlieren, Switzerland and will continue to focus on the further development and application of the Fynomer technology. Covagen was co-founded in 2007 by Julian Bertschinger, PhD, and Dragan Grabulovski, Ph.D, as a spin-off company of ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Source: Johnson & Johnson

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