Inward Investment

Janssen's Cilag International acquires biopharmaceutical firm Covagen

PBR Staff Writer Published 26 August 2014

Janssen Pharmaceutical's affiliate Cilag International has completed the acquisition of Covagen, Swiss biopharmaceutical firm specializing in the development of multispecific protein therapeutics through its FynomAb technology platform.

Covagen's lead product COVA 322, a bispecific anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha/anti-interleukin (IL)-17A FynomAb, is currently in a Phase Ib trial for psoriasis.

COVA 322 is also said to be a potential treatment for various inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.

FynomAbs, which are multi-specific protein therapeutics, is developed by Covagen by fusing Fynomer binding proteins to antibodies.

The small binding proteins Fynomers are designed to bind to target molecules with the same affinity and specificity as antibodies.

The new mode of action of FynomAb therapeutics is expected to provide improved efficacy in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and other indications.

Janssen Research & Development global therapeutic area head of Immunology Dr Susan Dillon said the company's aim is to translate advancements in immunology science into next-generation therapies that improve patient outcomes.

"Our interest in Covagen stems from the company's scientific acumen, their novel FynomAb platform, and the potential of COVA 322, a bispecific designed to achieve better control of inflammation by blocking two key cytokines that have been implicated in disease pathogenesis and progression," Dillon said.

Meanwhile, Covagen will continue to focus on the further development and application of the Fynomer technology.