Johnson & Johnson, the world’s biggest maker of health-care products, agreed to buy Aragon Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its experimental prostate cancer drug in a deal worth as much as $1 billion.
Aragon will receive an initial cash payment of $650 million, New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J said in a statement today. Additional payments of as much as $350 million may follow if Aragon’s cancer candidate, ARN-509, achieves certain milestones, J&J said.
Aragon’s main experimental prostate cancer drug is in the second of three stages usually required for regulatory approvals in the U.S. and may complement Zytiga, the prostate cancer treatment J&J unveiled two years ago. J&J will receive Aragon’s entire program to develop drugs that block androgen, a hormone that can fuel tumors in the prostate.