Janssen To Acquire Monoclonal Antibody from XBiotech for $750 M
Janssen Biotech, a Johnson & Johnson and Janssen company, has agreed to acquire all rights to the investigational compound, bermekimab from XBiotech, a developer of therapeutic antibodies, for a purchase price of $750 million. Bermekimab is an investigational antibody that blocks the action of interleukin-1alpha (IL-1a), a cytokine thought to drive inflammation associated with chronic skin diseases. It is in Phase II development for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, a chronic, immune-mediated disease, and hidradenitis suppurativa, a chronic, immune-mediated skin disease.
Under the agreement, Janssen will assume responsibility for the clinical program and work with XBiotech as it completes the ongoing Phase II studies in atopic dermatitis and hidradenitis suppurativa. XBiotech will use its proprietary manufacturing technology to produce clinical supplies of bermekimab for Janssen under a supply agreement. Janssen will pay XBiotech a purchase price of $750 million for the rights to bermekimab. In addition, XBiotech may receive up to $600 million in potential milestone payments. Should Janssen pursue bermekimab indications outside of dermatology, XBiotech may be eligible to receive additional payments upon the receipt of certain commercialization authorizations.
Under the agreement, XBiotech will be free to use its True Human Antibody discovery program to develop new antibody therapeutics that target IL-1a to treat non-dermatological diseases. XBiotech’s True Human antibodies are antibodies derived without modification from humans who possess natural immunity to certain diseases. XBiotech plans to re-enter clinical development expeditiously with a next-generation anti-IL-1a therapeutic.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act, and is expected to close shortly after HSR approval.