J&J to invest $1B in Elan, scoops up drug program

After months of rumors regarding potential deals, Ireland's Elan Pharmaceuticals announced this morning that Johnson & Johnson will invest a billion dollars into the company while taking control of Elan's rights in a key Alzheimer's drug program.

J&J is taking over Elan's rights to the Alzheimer's program, which is partnered with Wyeth, through a newly formed company, initially committing $500 million into the development of the drug. And Elan will keep 49.9 percent of the new company, with a share of the profits and the royalties.

"This transaction will leverage Elan's unique scientific and clinical work and leadership in bringing treatments to market that potentially slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease," said Elan CEO Kelly Martin in a statement. "The Elan commitment to scientific innovation and patients remains absolute and we will continue to build upon and expand our leadership in the fields of neuroscience and immunology."  

"Johnson & Johnson's development capabilities, commercial experience and global reach will provide the foundation to accelerate the AIP Program development, and increase its potential availability for patients globally," said Sheri McCoy, worldwide chairman, pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson.

- check out J&J's release