Dutch biotechnology firm Crucell said on Monday Johnson & Johnson had bought 14.6 million new Crucell shares for 302 million euros ($443.5 million) as part of a flu vaccine development deal.
Crucell said the collaboration will focus on developing a universal flu-mAb product targeting all influenza A strains, including H1N1 strains which cause seasonal flu and the current pandemic flu along with the H5N1 or avian strain.
The newly-issued shares represent about 18 percent of Crucell's outstanding ordinary shares. Both companies also agreed to development milestones and royalty payments based on the successful development and commercialization of products.
A universal antibody or vaccine that protects against a broad range of strains would be an important advance in helping ... control acute epidemic and pandemic outbreaks, said Paul Stoffels, global head of pharmaceuticals R&D at Johnson & Johnson.
The collaboration will also focus on development and commercialization of non-flu vaccines for the treatment and prevention of other infectious and non-infectious diseases.
As part of the deal Crucell and Johnson & Johnson affiliate JHC Nederland agreed to a three-year standstill requiring Crucell's consent for an increase of in JHC Nederland's interest in Crucell and a three-month lock-up on transfers of the shares.
The transaction will have an estimated dilutive impact of $0.02 to $0.04 on Johnson & Johnson's 2009 adjusted earnings per share.
(Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by David Holmes)