Janssen To Acquire Biopharm Company BeneVir in $1-Billion Deal
Janssen Biotech, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has agreed to acquire BeneVir Biopharm, a Rockville, Maryland-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in developing oncolytic immunotherapies, for up to $1 billion ($140 million up front and $900 million in milestones).
BeneVir is a portfolio company and subsidiary of HC2 Holdings’ Pansend Life Sciences, which is focused on healthcare technologies and products. The company uses its proprietary T-Stealth Oncolytic Virus Platform to engineer oncolytic viruses, which are designed to infect and destroy cancer cells. Janssen intends to advance preclinical candidates as standalone therapies and in combination with other immunotherapies for treating solid tumor cancers (e.g., lung, prostate, colorectal, and other cancers). Upon closing, BeneVir will maintain a research presence in Rockville and become part of the Janssen oncology therapeutic area.
Under the agreement, Janssen will make an upfront cash payment of $140 million at closing of the transaction, plus additional contingent payments of up to $900 million based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones. The total amount of all payments could exceed $1 billion if all milestones are met. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.