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J&J pays handsomely for first-in-class blood cancer drug

Date December 09, 2011

Pharmacyclics is ending the year with a bang. In the biggest phase II deal of 2011, the California company signed rights to its blood-cancer drug PCI-32765 to Johnson & Johnson for a huge $150m upfront, a deal that executives say will secure sufficient funding to take the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (Btk) inhibitor to market without tapping investors.

The global pact could represent a big win in the long term as well, as it entitles Pharmacyclics to half the profits generated by the partnership. Shares, however, were down 12% to $12.89 in early trading today. After more than doubling in price this year and with the anticipated licensing deal completed major catalysts are now more than a year away, while any hope of a trade sale has been erased (Trial success opening doors for Pharmacyclics, June 15, 2011).

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