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Janssen Affiliate Cilag GmbH International Acquires Covagen AG

Innovation Center August 25th, 2014

Today, Cilag GmbH International, an affiliate of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced the acquisition of Covagen AG, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of multispecific protein therapeutics.  The acquisition strengthens Janssen’s Immunology portfolio through the addition of COVA322, a Phase 1b clinical candidate, and the company’s biotechnology capabilities through the addition of the FynomAb® Technology Platform.

This exciting opportunity was identified and facilitated through the London Innovation Center.  It underscores the value of being located in thriving life science communities to support local collaboration between our scientists and innovators, academics, entrepreneurs and biotechs in the region. Our strategy is to identify new and potentially transformational science and work side-by-side with scientists around the world.

Covagen develops FynomAbs, multi-specific protein therapeutics, by fusing its fully human Fynomer binding proteins to antibodies. Fynomers are small binding proteins engineered to bind to target molecules with the same affinity and specificity as antibodies.The novel multispecific mode of action of FynomAb therapeutics may offer enhanced efficacy in the treatment of a broad range of diseases. 

Covagen’s lead product, COVA 322, a bispecific anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha/anti-interleukin (IL)-17A FynomAb, holds potential as a treatment for a broad range of inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis. COVA 322, is designed to achieve better control of inflammation by blocking two key cytokines that have been implicated in disease pathogenesis and progression. 

Ultimately, our goal is to seek out promising science and develop transformative therapies that improve human health. We are excited about progressing COVA 322 development and expanding the potential of our portfolio for immune-mediated diseases.

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