Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), the biggest maker of consumer health products, said it will acquire Alios BioPharma Inc., a developer of viral disease therapies.
J&J will pay $1.75 billion in cash for closely held Alios. The San Francisco target develops treatments for influenza, rhinoviruses and respiratory syncytial virus, which causes infections in infants and has no approved preventative therapy.
Alios’s compound “AL-8176 complements our existing early stage portfolio for RSV which aims to prevent and treat this disease, the leading cause of acute lower respiratory infection in children under the age of five,” said William Hait, J&J’s global head of research and development, in the statement.
J&J shares gained less than 1 percent to $106.97 at 9:41 a.m. in New York.
J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, has raised its earnings forecast for the year for two consecutive quarters with help from its hepatitis C drug Olysio, which generated $831 million in the second quarter. The pill has led J&J’s drug business to become the company’s biggest unit.