Johnson & Johnson Completes Proteologix Acquisition, Gains Bispecific Antibody Assets

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Johnson & Johnson gets two bispecific antibodies in early phase development for immune-mediated diseases through its Proteologix acquisition.

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Johnson & Johnson has gained two new bispecific antibody assests with the completion of its $850 million acquisition of Proteologix, a privately held biotechnology company focused on bispecific antibodies for immune-mediated diseases. The acquisition includes PX-128 and PX-130, bispecific antibodies in early phase development for immune-mediated disease, the company announced on June 21, 2024. The transaction includes a potential additional milestone payment to Proteologix. Johnson & Johnson initially announced the acquisition in May 2024 (1).

In addition to PX-128 and PX-130, the acquisition boosts Johnson & Johnson’s bispecifics portfolio with eight other bispecific antibody programs. These programs are applicable across a variety of other diseases. PX-128 targets interleukin-13 (IL-13) plus thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and is ready to enter Phase I development for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) and moderate-to-severe asthma. PX-130 targets IL-13 plus IL-22 and is in preclinical development for moderate-to-severe AD. IL-13 is responsible for T helper 2 cell skin inflammation, and TSLP is responsible for tissue inflammation; both are disease-driveway pathways for AD and asthma (1). Meanwhile, although IL‐22 plays an important role in wound healing and skin protection against infections, it can also contribute to the onset of several inflammatory skin diseases, including AD, psoriasis, and allergic contact dermatitis (2).

“We look forward to continuing the development of PX-128 and PX-130 alongside the Proteologix team as they join Johnson & Johnson,” said David Lee, Global Immunology Therapeutic Area head, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, in the press release. “These two bispecific antibodies have the potential to become best-in-disease therapeutics for people living with moderate-to-severe [AD] and asthma by targeting multiple disease-driving pathways. We are thrilled to start integrating them into our … Immunology portfolio.”

Johnson & Johnson has been aggressively growing its immunology portfolio with acquisitions of bispecific antibody assets. In May 2024, the company also announced its intention to acquire a wholly owned subsidiary of Numab Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in immunology and oncology therapeutics, for approximately $1.25 billion in an all-cash transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of this year (3). This acquisition would give Johnson & Johnson the global rights to NM26, an investigational bispecific antibody soon to enter Phase II studies for AD, adding to the bispecifics assets it has acquired in the Proteologix acquisition.


“The Proteologix team has developed a promising early pipeline of bispecific antibodies that are a strong complement and strategic fit for our innovation strategy,” said Candice Long, worldwide vice-president, Immunology, Johnson & Johnson, in the press release. “This acquisition is yet another example of our ongoing commitment to redefine the standard of care for immune mediated diseases.”

Meanwhile Johnson & Johnson’s own bispecific antibodies received regulatory approvals. In August 2022, the European Commission (EC) approved TECVAYLI (teclistamab), and in August 2023, FDA approved TALVEY (talquetamab-tgvs) (4,5). Both bispecific antibodies were respectively approved for treating relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. In Europe, the EC also approved a reduced dosing frequency in August 2023 for teclistamab in patients who have achieved a complete response or better for a minimum of six months (4).


1. Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson to Acquire Proteologix, Inc. to Lead in Atopic Dermatitis Treatment. Press Release, May 16, 2024.
2. Lopez D. V.; Kongsbak-Wismann, M. Role of IL-22 in Homeostasis and Diseases of the Skin. APMIS 2022, 130 (6), 314–322. DOI: 10.1111/apm.13221
3. Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson to Obtain Rights to a Clinical-Stage Bispecific Antibody to Address Distinct Patient Needs in Atopic Dermatitis. Press Release, May 28, 2024.
4. Johnson & Johnson. European Commission Approves Reduced Dosing Frequency for Janssen’s Bispecific Antibody TECVAYLI (teclistamab). Press Release, Aug. 18, 2023.
5. Johnson & Johnson. U.S. FDA Approves TALVEY (talquetamab-tgvs), a First-in-Class Bispecific Therapy for the Treatment of Patients with Heavily Pretreated Multiple Myeloma. Press Release, Aug. 10, 2023.

Source: Johnson & Johnson