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Dec. 4, 2015, 4:54 PM
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ +2.1%) says it has wrapped the acquisition of Novira Therapeutics, the privately held biopharma developer of hepatitis B antivirals.
- Terms weren't disclosed. The company is being integrated into Janssen's Infectious Disease & Vaccines Therapeutic Area.
- Novira's lead candidate, the orally administered NVR 3-778, is in Phase 1b clinical trials.
- Earlier, Barclays had launched coverage of JNJ with an Overweight rating and $115 price target; shares closed today up 2.1% to $102.91.
Nov. 4, 2015, 12:48 PM
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) acquires privately held Novira Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical firm developing therapies to cure chronic hepatitis B infection within one year of treatment, for an undisclosed sum. The transaction should close this quarter.
- Novira's lead product candidate is NVR 3-778, a orally available, small molecule, direct-acting antiviral that inhibits the HBV core or capsid protein. HBV core is an attractive drug target since it is plays a key role in viral replication and survival. NVR 3-778 disrupts the HBV life cycle by inducing the assembly of defective capsids. According to the company, its inhibitors, when used in combination with current standard-of-care drugs (nucleosides and interferon), should deliver greater and faster suppression of viral DNA and new virus production.
- Selected HBV-related tickers: (ARWR +2.1%)(GILD -1%)(CTRV -3.2%)(ABUS +2.6%)(DVAX -1.8%)(MRK +0.7%)(SNY -0.8%)(GSK +0.1%)(ISIS +2.1%)(ALNY +3.1%)(BMY -0.6%)
Oct. 29, 2015, 6:31 AM
- Allergan (NYSE:AGN) is up 15% premarket on light volume on the news that it is in talks with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) about a possible merger. If the deal goes through, it would create the world's largest healthcare firm with a market value of $330B, larger than Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) market cap of $278B.
- A lower tax bill is one of the reasons Allergan is an attractive target for Pfizer considering the Botox maker is domiciled in tax-friendly Dublin. The U.S. government clamped down on tax inversion deals last year which scuppered the AbbVie/Shire deal so it is unclear how this might effect Pfizer's ability to change its domicile.
- Potential Pfizer takeover targets GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and Shire (NASDAQ:SHPG) are both down slightly in premarket trading.
- Update: Both Pfizer and Allergan confirm the commencement of "friendly" discussions regarding a potential combination.
Sep. 9, 2015, 9:33 AM
- Epirus Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:EPRS) acquires privately-held Netherlands-based Bioceros for $14.1M in cash and stock payable over a one-year period.
- Bioceros develops monoclonal antibodies and GMP-ready cell lines. It has a number of biosimilar cell lines from its proprietary CHO platform.
- The deal enables Epirus to pick up three preclinical product candidates: BOW080 [biosimilar to Alexion Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:ALXN) Soliris (eculizumab)]; BOW100 [biosimilar to J&J's (NYSE:JNJ) Simponi (golimumab)] and BOW090 [biosimilar to J&J's Stelara (ustekinumab)].
Aug. 25, 2015, 1:40 PM
- Heartland Food Products is buying Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ +1.1%) Splenda low-calorie sweetener brand for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to close by year's end.
- J&J's consumer revenue fell 7% Y/Y in Q2 (+2.3% exc. forex) to $3.5B. On its earnings call (transcript), J&J reiterated its strategy of focusing its consumer product portfolio "around the key consumer need states in brands that are backed with strong clinical science and professional endorsements."
Aug. 12, 2015, 7:35 AM
- Reckitt Benckiser (OTCPK:RBGPF) (OTCPK:RBGLY) receives regulatory clearance from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to purchase Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) K-Y intimate lubricant business with the proviso that it license the brand to a third party for eight years. During this period, the company selling K-Y would create its own brand, after which Reckitt would resume control of K-Y.
- Reckitt agreed to buy K-Y last year but encountered opposition from UK authorities who said the deal would reduce competition and result in higher prices for consumers. The CMA asked the company put forward measures to allay their concerns, but its initial proposals were unsuccessful.
- The company's plan to purchase the K-Y business in New Zealand was also blocked due to anti-competitive concerns. Reckitt chief Rakesh Kapoor isn't too concerned since the bulk of K-Y sales come from the U.S., Canada and Brazil.
- Under Mr. Kapoor, Reckitt is moving into higher margin consumer health products. The strategy appears to be working. H1 comps were up 13%.
Apr. 13, 2015, 6:29 PM
- Looking to grab a bigger chunk of a burgeoning healthcare analytics market by offering more industry-specific solutions, IBM is buying Phytel, a provider of cloud-based patient data aggregation/analysis software, and Explorys, provider of a massive clinical database (said to consist of 315B datapoints) and a slew of analytics apps that run on top of them. Terms are undisclosed.
- IBM declares Phytel will help it give healthcare providers "insights into patient health from data about patient behaviors and their engagement with care plans," and that Explorys will "accelerate the delivery of IBM Health Cloud and IBM Watson cognitive solutions to model and apply medical evidence and large scale analytics to data."
- Both companies are being added to a new Watson Health unit based out of Boston. The business aims to provide software/services that can surface insights from large volumes of anonymous personal health data. As part of the effort, Big Blue is launching Watson Health Cloud, a platform that allows this data to be "anonymized, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly-growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data."
- IBM's partnership with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been expanded to cover Apple's HealthKit (health/fitness data) and ResearchKit (medical research) frameworks, via Watson and Health Cloud. The latter will provide a data storage/aggregation platform for iOS apps using HealthKit and ResearchKit. In addition, IBM will "build a suite of enterprise wellness apps using HealthKit."
- Also: 1) IBM is partnering with Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) to create diabetes management solutions that pair Medtronic's devices (and the data they produce) with IBM's analytics and cognitive computing tools. 2) IBM is partnering with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) to "create intelligent coaching systems centered on preoperative and postoperative patient care, including joint replacement and spinal surgery."
Mar. 10, 2015, 3:51 PM
- Traders spread their love beyond the rumored acquisition target-stoked up move of Acadia Pharmaceuticals (ACAD +17.7%) to Geron (GERN +12.3%). Shares are up on a whopping 24M shares. Speculators are betting that Geron will be taken out, possibly by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.8%), after the latter was outbid by AbbVie (ABBV +0.9%) for Pharmacyclics (PCYC).
- Previously: Geron gets boost from AbbVie-Pharmacyclics deal (March 5)
- Previously: Acadia Pharma now +17.7% as it cancels out of another conference (March 10)
Mar. 5, 2015, 10:07 AM
- On its conference call this morning to discuss the acquisition of Pharmacyclics (PCYC +10.6%), AbbVie (ABBV -2.4%) CEO Rick Gonzalez said that three companies were in the final bidding for the Imbruvica maker in an intensely competitive process. He said that a disclosure will be forthcoming that will provide additional details of the bids.
- The transaction will be accretive to earnings beginning in 2017, adding $0.60 to EPS in 2019 and more than $1.00 by 2021. The incremental sales in 2019 are projected to be >$4B.
- Imbruvica sales should be >$1B in the U.S. this year and peak at >$7B (ABBV's portion). Peak global sales may be ~$11.5B, but J&J's (JNJ +1.1%) contribution is its responsibility so no firm forecast is appropriate.
- Peak sales of the oncology portfolio of both companies could be >$20B by the mid-2020s.
- Mr. Gonzalez said that Humira's status had no bearing on the deal. He was confident with his top seller's long-term prospects, citing two new indications and the pending new formulation that will provide patent protection until the early 2030s. He also said AbbVie will vigorously defend Humira's IP against biosimilars.
- The transaction is 58% in cash and 42% in stock. The final number of ABBV shares will be determined at the time of closing in Q2. About 50% of the stock will be sourced from buybacks and half newly issued. The Board has authorized a $5B increase in its share repurchase program. There will be a 20% dilution to current shareholders. Updated 2015 Non-GAAP EPS is now $4.05 - 4.25 from $4.25 - 4.45.
Mar. 5, 2015, 8:52 AM
- AbbVie's (NYSE:ABBV) extraordinarily generous buyout of Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC) is a crystal clear example of how keen big pharma is to boost its prospects with biotech drugs with blockbuster potential. The transaction's $20B tab, backing out PCYC's $1B cash balance, values Imbruvica (ibrutinib) at $40B since Pharmacyclics' commercial partner Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) gets 50% of Imbruvica's revenue. This implies a multiple of almost 7x Imbruvica's projected peak sales of $6B. By comparison, Amgen's (NASDAQ:AMGN) takeout of Onyx Pharma and Sanofi's (NYSE:SNY) takeout of Genzyme were both at 5x premiums.
- The looming patent expiration for Humira ($12.5B in sales the past four quarters) undoubtedly provided AbbVie extra incentive to get the deal done.
- Adding 50% of Imbruvica's sales to AbbVie's top line should increase its revenue growth 3 - 7% and EPS growth 8 - 11% through 2020.
- According to RBC analyst Michael Yee, other biotechs on the big ticket acquisition radar are: BioMarin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BMRN), Dyax (NASDAQ:DYAX), Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR), United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX), Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT), Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JUNO), Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE), PTC Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PTCT) and Receptos (NASDAQ:RCPT).
Mar. 4, 2015, 11:39 PM
- Both boards have signed off on AbbVie's (NYSE:ABBV) $21B surprise acquisition of Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC), announced a short while ago amid speculation that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) (or, earlier, Novartis (NYSE:NVS)) would be the one to acquire the cancer biotech.
- With the deal, AbbVie gets Pharmacyclics' blockbuster Imbruvica drug for hematologic malignancies -- which logged $548M in revenues in 2014 (Q4 earnings) and might go all the way to $5B/year. Imbruvica has received four indications in less than 15 months -- the latest being for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia at the end of January.
- And with Imbruvica, AbbVie can lessen its reliance on its key drug Humira, an aging rheumatoid arthritis medication.
- The acquisition is expected to close in the middle of the year.
- Question: What happened to Pharmacyclics' Imbruvica partner JNJ on this deal?
- Previously: Pharmacyclics Q4 revenue up 135%, Imbruvica growing exponentially (Feb. 18 2015)
Mar. 4, 2015, 11:04 PM
- AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) says it will be the one to acquire cancer biotech Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC), with a surprise bid of about $21B: $261.25/share in cash and equity.
- Pharmacyclics closed up 6.3% today to $230.48 (and gained another 2.9% after hours) on rumors that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) was making a bid for the $17B company.
- Previously: Pharmacyclics up on rumored J&J interest (Mar. 04 2015)
- Previously: Pharmacyclics up on potential buyout (Feb. 25 2015)
Feb. 25, 2015, 1:43 PM
Feb. 23, 2015, 4:18 PM
- It appears that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) may have found a buyer for its underperforming Cordis business, something it's been seeking since August. Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) is rumored to be the front-runner for the medical device company.
- Cordis is the second largest unit within J&J, but it was the worst performing last year with a 3.5% decline in sales despite being the pioneer of drug-coated stents and the former market leader. The company was unable to maintain its leadership due to formidable competition and downward price pressure from insurers and hospitals.
- The company expects Cordis to fetch $1.5B - 2.0B.
Feb. 20, 2015, 5:56 PM
- Bloomberg reports Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is exploring the sale of its Cordis medical device unit to Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) for as much as $2B.
- The WSJ reported last August J&J is seeking a buyer for Cordis, whose products include stents, guidewires, and catheters, and that it could get $1.5B-$2B for the business.
- CAH +1.5% AH to $88.34.
Dec. 3, 2014, 10:01 AM
Johnson & Johnson is a holding company, which is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of products in the health care field within its Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices, and Diagnostics business segments.
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