Johnson & Johnson $JNJ is reported to be negotiating the acquisition of Swiss pharma company Actelion $ALIOPY. While the company has confirmed that it is engaged in preliminary discussions, it refused to divulge any further information.
It is also one of the most prominent biotech companies in Europe. In the US, Actelion is based out of San Francisco. The Swiss company boasts of a strong portfolio of promising drugs such as Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension treatment Tracleer, which is expected to boost Johnson & Johnson’s portfolio.
Apart from this, Actelion also has Uptravi, which according to the company website is the only approved oral selective IP receptor agonist targeting the prostacyclin pathway in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. In the US, this drug is indicated for the treatment of PAH (WHO Group I) to delay disease progression and reduce the risk of hospitalization for PAH. However, it has plenty of room to grow in the United States, thus offering an attractive proposition to Johnson & Johnson.
Actelion currently commands market capitalization of nearly $20 billion. It is likely that Johnson & Johnson will have to restore to outside sources for funding the deal. The company recently suffered a setback when a federal judge in Boston invalidated a key patent on Johnson & Johnson's blockbuster arthritis drug Remicade. Potential acquisition of Actelion may help Johnson & Johnson in cutting some of its losses.