Johnson & Johnson has bought an 18% stake in Crucell, a Dutch biotechnology company, for $440 million.
Johnson & Johnson buys stake in biotech firm
The two companies will focus immediately on creating a seasonal flu vaccine, as well as other products targeting up to three other diseases, including H1N1 strains and the bird flu, they said in a joint statement. The collaboration will occur between Crucell and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
In August, Crucell, based in Leiden, the Netherlands, received a contract with the National Institutes of Health worth up to $69.1 million to develop monoclonal antibodies to combat seasonal and pandemic flu. Monoclonal antibodies can be targeted to block the virus' entry into host cells.
“A universal antibody or vaccine that protects against a broad range of strains would be an important advance in helping doctors and nurses manage the annual influenza season and control acute epidemic and pandemic outbreaks,” said Paul Stoffels, global head of pharmaceuticals research and development at Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J., in a statement.
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