J&J confirms discussions to acquire Swiss drugmaker Actelion


US-based healthcare company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has approached Swiss drug manufacturer Actelion Pharmaceuticals regarding a possible transaction.

J&J said in a statement that the preliminary discussions with Actelion may or may not result in any transaction.

The company declined to make comments on this potential transaction unless / until a formal agreement has been reached between the two companies.

The acquisition of Actelion is expected to boost J&J's drug pipeline, diversify its prospects and allow it to expand its pharmaceutical lineup.

Actelion is working with an adviser to explore options, and the deliberations are still in the initial stages.

"The acquisition of Actelion is expected to boost J&J's drug pipeline, diversify its prospects and allow it to expand its pharmaceutical lineup."

Sources with knowledge of the matter said that the company is also planning to attract other suitors, such as Novartis and Sanofi.

Reuters quoted J&J chief executive Alex Gorsky as saying earlier this year that the company was looking for deals to expand its main consumer, medical device, as well as pharmaceuticals segments.

Actelion’s portfolio of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) treatments covers the spectrum of disease, from WHO Functional Class (FC) II through to FC IV, with oral, inhaled and intravenous medications.

The company offers treatments approved by health authorities for various specialist diseases, including Type 1 Gaucher disease, Niemann-Pick type C disease, digital ulcers in patients suffering from systemic sclerosis, and mycosis fungoides-type, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.