Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) announced Wednesday it would be purchasing Momenta Pharmaceuticals for USD6.5 Billion in cash as it strives to grow its portfolio of drugs for autoimmune diseases. Treatments aimed at autoimmune conditions have made billions of dollars in sales, including AbbVie Inc’s Humira, a global best selling drug.
The transaction will give the company’s Janssen division the green light into Momenta’s experimental therapy, nipocalimab, running tests for myasthenia gravis, a disease that causes weakness in the muscles as well as several other diseases where the immune system attacks the body. J&J said in a statement that “many as first-in-class indications with potential for significant peak year sales, some of which could exceed $1 billion.”
However, many are shocked by the arrangement. “We find the deal modestly surprising as we see every one of Momenta’s assets as somewhat tricky to develop,” said BTIG analyst Thomas Shrader.
Amid the deal, J&J expects to have the drug certified to treat various medical conditions and build up its sales as it strives to grow its Pharmaceutical business. Cambridge shares, Momenta’s Massachusetts location, skyrocketed 69.3% to USD52.15.
“Janssen will have the potential to introduce multiple launches, many as first-in-class indications with potential for significant peak year sales, some of which could exceed $1 billion,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.