M&A

J&J mops up $900M in waste, writing off the last big chunk of the $1.75B it spent to acquire Alios

Back in the fall of 2014, Alios looked like quite a find for J&J, with its lead RSV drug and some early stage hep C programs as a group of rivals fought over the blockbuster market that awaited the winner of that contest.

Now, more than 4 years after J&J plunked down $1.75 billion in cash to acquire little Alios, J&J is folding its hand and walking away from what proved a bad bet. After writing off $630 million for AL-8176 last year, the pharma giant has come back to to eliminate the remaining $900 million, with nothing to show for it.

The news was tastefully buried in a quiet SEC filing.

We learned last fall that J&J had shuttered the Phase IIb trials for RSV as they returned to a preclinical stage of development. J&J had noted:

This decision was made due to the ongoing analysis of new preclinical data and the need to perform further pre-clinical studies. Generation and analysis of these data is anticipated to require additional time.

A decision on further clinical trials for lumicitabine will be made once the evaluation of the data has been completed.

J&J bought out the biotech after taking a close look at its Phase II data.

As for hep C, Gilead won that race, coming up with a painless cocktail to cure the disease. After reaching a quick sales peak, that mountain of revenue has been dwindling away, with little left for the remaining commercial rivals in the field.

RSV, meanwhile, has been a graveyard for drug developers, claiming a lineup of failed programs in recent years.


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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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