J&J bags another bispecific antibody with $1.25bn Yellow Jersey buy

Through the all-cash acquisition of Yellow Jersey Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will bolster its bispecific antibody portfolio.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

May 30, 2024

1 Min Read

J&J is making significant strides in the bispecific antibody space, first with the acquisition of Protelogix for $850 million, and now by acquiring Yellow Jersey Therapeutics, a spinout created by Swiss biotechnology startup Numab Therapeutics. Through this acquisition, J&J gains NM26, an investigational bispecific antibody, which is ready to enter Phase II of clinical trial. NM26 targets two clinically proven pathways, IL-4R alpha (IL-4Rα) and IL-31, in atopic dermatitis (AD).

“We have entered an agreement to obtain rights to NM26, a Phase II ready investigational, first-in-class bispecific antibody targeting two clinically proven pathways in AD,” a spokesperson for J&J told BioProcess Insider.

“NM26 has the potential to offer distinctive benefits versus existing treatments and address key unmet needs for AD patients. We are committed to developing differentiated bispecifics to address this highly heterogeneous skin disease as we work toward achieving durable, symptom-free remission for patients with atopic dermatitis and other immune-mediated diseases.”

In addition to potentially transforming the standard of care for AD, NM26 could also be efficacious in other inflammatory skin diseases involving Th2 inflammation and itch. The drug targets two proteins, IL-4Ra and IL-31, that are linked to skin inflammatory diseases. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2024.

“To deliver durable, symptom-free remission for the millions of people living with AD, our medicines need to be tailored to target multiple disease-driving pathways in different patient subpopulations,” said David Lee, global immunology therapeutic area head, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine.

“That’s why we are committed to developing differentiated bispecifics that combine the targeting of two distinct disease-driving pathways. NM26 has the potential to deliver a treatment specifically for patients who have inflamed skin associated with intense itching.”

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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