J&J and Elan form Alzheimer’s agreement

Johnson & Johnson is to acquire the Elan Corporation’s Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program (AIP Program), through a newly-formed company.

As part of the agreement between the two companies, Johnson & Johnson will invest $1 billion in Elan in exchange for 18.4% of Elan’s outstanding ordinary shares.

The AIP Program, in collaboration with Wyeth, aims to develop and commercialise selective products for the treatment and/or prevention of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Johnson & Johnson’s affiliate company will continue Elan’s activities with Wyeth under the AIP Program. The company will also initially commit up to $500 million to continue the development and launch of bapineuzumab, a potential first-in-class treatment for slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other compounds.

For the transfer of these assets, Elan will receive a 49.9% equity interest in the newly formed affiliate company, as well as a 49.9% share of the profits and certain royalty payments upon the launch of any products.

The AIP Program includes multiple compounds being evaluated for slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The lead compound (bapineuzumab) is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials and a subcutaneous formulation is currently in Phase 2 trials. A vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease (ACC-001) is also under development.

Dale Schenk, Chief Scientific Officer for Elan, commented: “It is our responsibility to ensure that this therapy, upon further clinical and regulatory progress, may be made available to the broadest range of patients globally. The capabilities of Johnson & Johnson will help in achieving that goal."

Husseini Manji, head of neuroscience at Johnson & Johnson, added: "We expect to focus our resources on bringing the AIP Program to fruition as quickly as possible because of its potential to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease."