Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARWR) today announced that the license agreement and research collaboration and option agreement between Arrowhead and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and the stock purchase agreement between Arrowhead and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., (JJDC) have closed, following termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended.
Under the terms of the agreement, Arrowhead will receive $175 million as an upfront payment. Separately, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) will make a $75 million equity investment in Arrowhead at a price of $23.00 per share of Arrowhead common stock.
Arrowhead is eligible to receive up to approximately $1.6 billion in milestone payments for the HBV license agreement, including a $50 million milestone payment linked to a Phase 2 study. Arrowhead is also eligible to receive approximately $1.9 billion in option and milestone payments for the collaboration agreement related to up to three additional targets. Arrowhead is further eligible to receive tiered royalties up to mid teens on product sales.
Under the agreement, Janssen receives a worldwide exclusive license to the ARO-HBV program, Arrowhead’s third-generation subcutaneously administered RNAi therapeutic candidate being developed as a potentially curative therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection. Beyond AROHBV1001, Arrowhead’s ongoing Phase 1/2 study of ARO-HBV, Janssen will be wholly responsible for clinical development and commercialization.
Janssen can also select up to three new targets, against which Arrowhead will develop clinical candidates. These potential new candidates will leverage Arrowhead’s proprietary TRiM™ platform, and do not include Arrowhead’s current pipeline. Arrowhead will perform discovery, optimization, and preclinical development, entirely funded by Janssen, sufficient to allow the filing of a U.S. Investigational New Drug application or equivalent, at which time Janssen will have the option to take an exclusive license. If the option is exercised, Janssen will be wholly responsible for clinical development and commercialization.
Arrowhead currently has eight drugs in various stages of development. In addition to its Janssen/J&J agreements, the company also has a development agreement with Amgen.