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Johnson & Johnson Acquires Atopic Dermatitis Treatment Biotech Company

Proteologix has bispecific antibodies ready to enter phase 1 and in preclinical development for moderate to severe AD.

Johnson & Johnson may have spun off its consumer skin health unit—now known as Kenvue—in 2023,  but finding new treatments for challenging skin conditions remains a focus for the healthcare giant.

The company is acquiring Proteologix, a privately-held biotech company focused on bispecific antibodies for treatment of severe atopic dermatitis (AD) and other auto immune diseases.

Proteologix’s portfolio includes PX128, a bispecific antibody ready to enter phase 1 development for moderate to severe AD and moderate to severe asthma, and PX130, a bispecific antibody in preclinical development for moderate to severe AD.

“Atopic dermatitis is the most common inflammatory skin disease, impacting more than 100 million adults worldwide,” said David Lee, global immunology therapeutic area head, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine. “About 70% of patients using existing standard of care therapies do not reach remission1. Current advanced therapies for AD either target a single pathway and have limited efficacy or are more broadly immunosuppressive, resulting in significant safety concerns. We see an opportunity for best-in-disease efficacy for both PX128 and PX130 as each bispecific antibody targets two different combinations of disease driving pathways that are mediating the skin inflammation in heterogenous subpopulations of AD patients.”

Johnson & Johnson spun off its consumer skin health unit, now known as Kenvue, in 2023. 

Proteologix’s PX128 inhibits IL-13-mediated Th2 skin inflammation, an important disease-driving pathway in AD and asthma, as well as TSLP, a mediator of tissue inflammation in AD and asthma. Like PX128, PX130 inhibits IL-13-mediated Th2 skin inflammation. PX130 also inhibits IL-22 to restore the skin barrier and prevent inflammation from environmental triggers, such as allergens. Both assets are designed for infrequent dosing intervals, which offers convenience patients prefer. Together, these pipeline additions demonstrate a strategic approach to build a portfolio of differentiated and complementary bispecifics, according to J&J.

Johnson & Johnson will acquire Proteologix’ for $850 million in cash, with potential for an additional milestone payment.

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