J&J Ends Transaction Discussions with Actelion

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has confirmed that it has ended discussions with Actelion Pharmaceuticals, an Allschwil, Basel, Switzerland-headquartered biopharmaceutical company, regarding a potential transaction.

In a company statement, J&J said it “was not able to reach an agreement that it believed would create adequate value for its shareholders.”

In late November 2016, J&J had confirmed it was in talks with the Swiss biopharmaceutical firm. Actelion is focused on the field of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a chronic, disorder characterized by abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries between the heart and lungs. Actelion’s PAH franchise leads the company’s product sales. Actelion’s PAH franchise encompasses oral, inhaled and intravenous formulations of compounds, for patients at various stages of the disease. For the first nine months of 2016, Acetlion’s product sales rose to CHF 1.785 billion ($1.75 billion), In 2015, the company’s product sales crossed the $2 billion mark for the first time with sales of CHF 2.042 billion ($2.006 billion). Its top-selling product is Tracleer (bosentan), an orally available endothelin receptor antagonist for treating PAH, which posted 2015 sales of CHF 1.212 billion ($1.191 billion).

For J&J, an acquisition or stake in Actelion would have added a rare-disease focus to the company’s pharmaceutical business, which posted 2015 sales of $31.4 billion. J&J is focused on five therapeutic areas: immunology (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis); infectious diseases and vaccines (e.g., HIV, hepatitis, respiratory infections, and tuberculosis), neuroscience (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, mood disorders, and schizophrenia), oncology (e.g., prostate cancer, hematologic malignancies, and lung cancer), and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g., thrombosis and diabetes).

Immunology is J&J’s largest therapeutic franchise with 2015 sales of $10.4 billion, and it is in this franchise that it faces generic competition for its top-selling product, Remicade (infliximab), an anti-inflammatory drug. Remicade posted 2015 sales of $6.56 billion and is facing biosimilar competition in certain markets outside the US and pending competition in the US. 

Source: Johnson & Johnson

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