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Astellas, J&J Link For Arthritis Drug

by Lisa M. Jarvis
October 8, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 41

Janssen Biotech, the R&D arm of Johnson & Johnson, will pay Japan’s Astellas Pharma $65 million for access to ASP015K, a JAK inhibitor in Phase II trials as a rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Janssen, which gains rights to develop the small-molecule compound everywhere but Japan, will pay for future clinical studies. Astellas could reap another $880 million in milestone and royalty payments if ASP015K reaches the market. Pfizer is awaiting FDA approval for tofacitinib, its own JAK inhibitor for arthritis.

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