J&J to acquire Momenta Pharma for $6.5B

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Johnson & Johnson will buy Cambridge, Mass.-based Momenta Pharmaceuticals for $6.5 billion, a move to strengthen the drugmaker's portfolio of autoimmune disease treatments.

The acquisition, announced Aug. 19, will give J&J's Janssen unit access to nipocalimab, Momenta's experimental drug being tested to treat autoimmune diseases. The drugmaker is aiming to get the treatment approved to treat several autoimmune disorders to bring in large sales.

"This acquisition broadens Janssen’s leadership in autoimmune diseases and provides us with a major catalyst for sustained growth," Jennifer Taubert, the executive vice president and worldwide chairman of J&J's pharmaceuticals division, said in a news release. "Autoantibody-driven diseases are often serious, and patients are underserved by current treatment options."

The deal comes two days after Sanofi announced its $3.68 billion acquisition of South San Francisco-based autoimmune drugmaker Principia Biopharma.

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