June 17 2013 | By Márcio Barra
Bloomberg is reporting that Johnson & Johnson will buy Aragon Pharmaceuticals Inc. by as much as $1 billion, in order to gain access to the company’s experimental prostate cancer drug and enhance its prostate cancer drug-development business.
Aragon’s lead compound, ARN-509, is currently in phase II of clinical trials. This compound, if approved, may supplement J&J’s castration-resistant prostate cancer drug Zytiga (Abiraterone), approved back in 2011 by the FDA, and with a patent expiration in late 2016.
ARN-509 is a 2nd Generation selective antagonist of the androgen receptor that is being developed for the treatment of men with castration-resistant prostate cancer
Alongside ARN-509, J&J will receive Aragon’s entire program for drugs that block androgen, a hormone that can fuel tumors in the prostate. Aragon’s remaining assets will go to a new spin-off of Aragon, called Seragon Pharmaceuticals
In a statement released today by J&J, Aragon will receive an initial cash payment of $650 million, with additional payments following if Aragon’s prostate cancer program achieves certain milestones. The deal is expected to close the third quarter.