T-Stealth™ Oncolytic Virus Platform Expected to Further Strengthen Immunotherapy Platform and Capabilities
HORSHAM, Pa., May 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/—Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which it will acquire BeneVir Biopharm, Inc. (BeneVir), a privately-held, biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of oncolytic immunotherapies. BeneVir utilizes a proprietary T-Stealth™ Oncolytic Virus Platform to engineer oncolytic viruses, tailored to infect and destroy cancer cells. Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC facilitated the transaction.
"Oncolytic viral immunotherapy holds exciting potential in the treatment of solid tumors through the priming and augmenting of an anti-tumor immune response," said Peter Lebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. "BeneVir's unique technology platform complements our immuno-oncology research, which is focused on bringing forward an array of novel immunotherapies and combinations that may improve treatment outcomes for patients."
BeneVir engineers oncolytic viruses through the T-Stealth™ platform to overcome the barrier of the body's immune system. Janssen intends to advance pre-clinical candidates as standalone therapies and in combination with other immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumor cancers (e.g., lung, prostate, colorectal, etc.).
"We are delighted to add the scientific caliber of the BeneVir team and their oncolytic immunotherapy platform to Janssen's robust immuno-oncology efforts," said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. "We are committed to pursue transformational science from our own laboratories and those of others, as we continue to advance our focus on treating some of the world's most devastating diseases."
BeneVir will maintain a research presence in Rockville, Maryland and become part of the Janssen Oncology Therapeutic Area. The team will remain focused on the optimization of next generation T-Stealth™oncolytic viruses in solid tumors and the execution of pre-clinical activities.
The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.
About Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC focuses on accelerating early-stage innovation worldwide and forming collaborations between entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson's global healthcare businesses. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies one-stop access to science and technology experts who can facilitate collaborations across the pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics and consumer companies of Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson Innovation includes local deal-making capabilities with the flexibility to adapt deal structures to match early-stage opportunities and establish novel collaborations that speed development of innovations to solve unmet needs in patients. For more information please visit: www.jnjinnovation.com.
Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the potential acquisition of BeneVir Biopharm, Inc. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Janssen Biotech, Inc., Janssen Research & Development, LLC and any of the other Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson and BeneVir Biopharm, Inc. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the satisfaction of closing conditions for the acquisition, including clearance under the Hart‐Scott‐Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and receipt of approval by the shareholders of BeneVir Biopharm, Inc. for the transaction; the possibility that the transaction will not be completed, or if completed, will not be completed in the expected timeframe; the potential that the expected benefits and opportunities may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected; challenges and uncertainties inherent in product research and development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and of obtaining regulatory approvals; uncertainty of commercial success; manufacturing difficulties and delays; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges to patents; [product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action;] changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; and trends toward health care cost containment. In addition, if and when the transaction is consummated, there will be risks and uncertainties related to Johnson & Johnson's ability to successfully integrate the products, employees and clinical work of Johnson & Johnson and BeneVir Biopharm, Inc. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, including in the sections captioned "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" and "Item 1A. Risk Factors," and in the company's subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. None of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.
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