US healthcare products maker Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) said on Monday it had entered into a definitive deal to buy privately-held drug discovery and development firm Aragon Pharmaceuticals Inc for up to USD1bn (EUR750m).
The acquisition will further strengthen the company’s position in prostate cancer drug development, according to Peter Lebowitz, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology for Janssen Research & Development LLC, which is part of the buyer.
Through the purchase, the firm will also complement its portfolio with Aragon’s second generation androgen receptor signaling inhibitor ARN-509, currently in Phase 2 development for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Under the terms of the deal, Johnson & Johnson will pay USD650m in cash upfront and may also provide contingent payments of up to USD350m depending on the achievement of certain milestones. The transaction is awaiting clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino act and is expected to close in the third quarter.
Before completion, Aragon will transfer all assets other than its androgen receptor antagonist programme to a new entity that will be spun off. The buyer noted it will have no ownership interest in the new firm.