J&J Janssen arm to Buy Benevir Biopharm
BeneVir Biopharm, a privately-held biotechnology company in the life science portfolio of the HC2 holding, will be bought by Janssen Biotech, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson under a recently signed definitive agreement.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018. The US firm specializes in developing oncolytic immunotherapies for treatment of cancer. HC2 made its initial investment in BeneVir in 2014 and currently owns around 76% of its equity.
Under the terms of the deal, Janssen will make an upfront cash payment of $140 million at closing, plus additional contingent payments of up to $900 million, based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones. The total sum could exceed $1 billion if all milestones are met, H2 said.
BeneVir founder and CEO Matt Mulvey said the biotech’s goal has been to develop the T-StealthT technology to help patients whose tumors do not respond to current therapeutic options including immune checkpoint inhibitors. The technology was licensed from the laboratory of Ian Mohr, professor of Microbiology at New York University’s School of Medicine.