Johnson & Johnson to buy atopic dermatitis treatment-focused biotech Proteologix for $850M+

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Johnson & Johnson on Thursday announced it will acquire Proteologix, a privately held biotech focused on developing drugs for the immune-mediated skin condition known as eczema.

According to the announcement, New Brunswick-based J&J will offer $850 million in cash for the acquisition as part of a deal expected to close in midyear. The company said the Redwood City, California-headquartered Proteologix will also be eligible for an additional milestone payment.

Proteologix will bring its IL-13-targeting bispecific antibodies, PX128 and PX130, to J&J’s pipeline post-acquisition.

PX128 is a Phase 1-ready candidate for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis and asthma, and PX130 is currently in preclinical development for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. Both candidates are designed for administration with a less-frequent dosing regimen.

“Atopic dermatitis is the most common inflammatory skin disease, impacting more than 100 million adults worldwide,” David Lee, global immunology therapeutic area head, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, said. “About 70% of patients using existing standard of care therapies do not reach remission. Current advanced therapies for AD either target a single pathway and have limited efficacy or are more broadly immunosuppressive, resulting in significant safety concerns.”

In addition to PX128 and PX130, the acquisition will provide J&J with other bispecific antibody programs with applications across a variety of other diseases, which further boosts the company’s capabilities to create novel bispecific programs.