January 27, 2017
1 min read

Johnson & Johnson to acquire Actelion

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Johnson & Johnson announced that it has agreed to acquire Actelion, which manufactures treatments for conditions such as pulmonary hypertension.

The $30 billion transaction was approved unanimously by the board of directors of both companies, according to a press release issued by Johnson & Johnson.

"We believe this transaction offers compelling value to both Johnson & Johnson and Actelion shareholders," Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said in the press release. "Actelion has built an attractive, growing business with world-class commercial and clinical development capabilities.”

Actelion’s products include macitentan (Opsumit) and selexipag (Uptravi), both approved by the FDA for treatment pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Before the completion of the acquisition, Actelion will spin off its drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical development assets into R&D NewCo, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company. Johnson & Johnson will hold 16% of the equity, and have rights to an additional 16%, which will result in cash of CHF 1 billion being made available to R&D NewCo when the transaction is closed, according to the release.

In this arrangement, Johnson & Johnson will receive an option on ACT-132577, a product being developed by R&D NewCo for resistant hypertension.

“Adding Actelion's portfolio to our already strong Janssen Pharmaceuticals business is a unique opportunity for us to expand our portfolio with leading, differentiated in-market medicines and promising late-stage products,” Gorsky said in the release. “We expect to leverage our established global presence and commercial strength to accelerate growth and patient access to these important therapies. Further, we believe R&D NewCo will be strongly positioned to continue Actelion's legacy of innovation and look forward to collaborating on the development of cutting-edge new therapies."

Disclosure: Gorsky is an employee of Johnson & Johnson.