Centocor Ortho Biotech acquires RespiVert

HORSHAM, Pa. Johnson & Johnson’s biotech division said Tuesday that it had acquired a small company that develops inhaled pharmaceuticals for treating pulmonary diseases. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Centocor Ortho Biotech acquired RespiVert, a privately owned drug-discovery company. Centocor said RespiVert’s two leading drug candidates, RV-568 and RV-1088, had potential to be first-in-class treatments for cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma.

“The RespiVert compounds offer the potential for a new class of medicines for patients with severe lung disease who are insensitive to inhaled corticosteroids,” Centocor research and development global therapeutic area head for immunology Susan Dillon said. “The addition of RespiVert’s expert scientific team and discovery platforms for inhaled medicines strengthens our capabilities and further builds our pipeline of novel oral and biologic therapies for serious pulmonary diseases.”