Janssen’s Affiliate Cilag to Acquire Covagen

Janssen affiliate’s Cilag GmbH International has announced that they will be acquiring Swiss biotech Covagen AG for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase was finalised in a deal brokered by Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in London.

Covagen specialises in the development of multi-specific protein therapeutics through their FynomAb technology platform, which binds proteins to antibodies, developing therapeutics with novel modes of action and enhanced efficacy for treating inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Their lead product, COVA 322, is being evaluated for psoriasis in a Phase Ib clinical trial, and could potentially be used as a treatment for a broad range of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Susan Dillon, Global Therapeutic Area Head of Immunology at Janssen Research & Development, noted that Janssen’s interest in Covagen is based on “the company’s scientific acumen, their novel FynomAb platform, and the potential of COVA 322.”

Co-founder and former CEO of Covagen, Julian Bertschinger, added that Janssen’s “tremendous knowledge in the research and development of biologics provides us with a great environment to develop novel FynomAb-based therapeutics addressing unmet medical needs.”

Covagen will retain a research presence in Zurich-Schlieren, Switzerland, and continue their focus on further development and application of their Fynomer technology.  Financial details of the agreement were not released.


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