Johnson & Johnson seals largest pharmaceutical merger of the year by purchasing Momenta for $6.5 billion

pharmafile | August 20, 2020 | News story | Business Services, Sales and Marketing Johnson and Johnson, Momenta 

Johnson & Johnson is set to buy the Cambridge based Momenta Pharmaceuticals for $6.5 billion, making it the largest pharmaceutical industry deal this year. 

It will acquire Momenta for $52.50 a share, which represents a 70% premium to Momenta’s closing price on Wednesday. The move was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies. 

Craig Wheeler, Momenta’s Chief Executive, commented on the deal: “The agreement with J&J recognises the value created by years of commitment and dedication to our mission by the many current and past Momenta employees. I believe J&J is the right company to advance our portfolio of novel drug candidates for autoimmune and rare diseases.”

The deal gives Johnson & Johnson full global rights to nipocalimab, an experimental treatment for a variety of autoimmune diseases. It recently received a rare paediatric disease designation from the FDA. 

Momenta began a significant restructure in 2018, where it reduced spending on the development of generic versions of expensive biosimilars to focus on its autoimmune disease treatments. It also cut a significant amount of its workforce which is expected to save the company $250 million over the next five years. 

Jennifer Taubert, the Executive Vice President for Janssen Pharmaceutical, also commented on the deal: “This acquisition broadens Janssen’s leadership in autoimmune diseases and provides us with a major catalyst for sustained growth.”

This deal trumps Gilead’s acquisition of Forty Seven for $4.9 billion as the biggest of the year, according to analysts.

Conor Kavanagh

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