J&J fronts $750M cash to grab a failed cancer drug that’s been repurposed as a powerful anti-inflammatory
J&J has stepped up with one of its blockbuster drug buys, agreeing to pay Austin-based XBiotech $XBIT $750 million in cash and up to $600 million more in milestones for their late stage-ready anti-inflammatory drug bermekimab — which some longtime biotech observers may recognize as a failed cancer therapy with a disaster-prone past.
The drug targets the IL-1a pathway. J&J $JNJ R&D chief Mathai Mammen is cutting a check for a drug that has produced positive mid-stage data in patients suffering from a skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa with another mid-stage program underway for atopic dermatitis.
That puts J&J in charge of a drug on the threshold of pivotal — though pricey — R&D work for a broad patient group with other related fields to explore. And it’s a very busy development arena.
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