NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Dec. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) today announced the completion of the acquisition of Novira Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies for curative treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The transaction was originally announced on November 4, 2015. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Novira Therapeutics, Inc. is now part of the Infectious Diseases & Vaccines Therapeutic Area of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The acquisition includes Novira's portfolio of innovative antivirals, including its lead candidate, NVR 3-778 which is in Phase 1b clinical trials. NVR 3-778 is an investigational small molecule, direct-acting antiviral, for oral administration in patients with HBV that inhibits the HBV core or capsid protein. HBV core is a promising drug target since it is involved in multiple activities required for viral replication and persistence.
"We are exploring several approaches in pursuit of a functional cure for this insidious disease. Bringing together NVR 3-778 with our own internal discoveries we will leverage our vast experience in viral diseases to develop potentially transformational medicines for HBV patients," said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, LLC.
HBV, which affects more than 350 million people worldwide, is a potentially fatal liver disease with approximately 60 percent of hepatocellular carcinoma cases being attributed to infection with the hepatitis B virus.
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About Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At Janssen, we are dedicated to addressing some of the most important unmet medical needs in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world. For more information, visit www.janssen.com or follow @JanssenGlobal.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the acquisition of Novira Therapeutics, Inc., and development of NVR 3-778. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: challenges related to integrating the operations and clinical work of Novira Therapeutics; the potential that the expected benefits and opportunities may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected; challenges inherent in new product development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and obtaining regulatory approvals; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges to patents; changes in behavior and spending patterns or financial distress of purchasers of health care products and services; changes to regulations and domestic and foreign health care reforms; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 28, 2014, including in Exhibit 99 thereto, and the company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Johnson & Johnson do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.
SOURCE Johnson & Johnson