Johnson & Johnson’s Up and Down Pharma PR News

Johnson & Johnson AdNews that a subsidiary of US drug giant Johnson & Johnson will be forced to pay $181 Million to settle state allegations against the company’s marketing of Risperdal, will be somewhat offset by news of  deal with Danish pharmaceutical group Genmab. Johnson & Johnson is set to pen a news deal for the rights to cancer drug Daratumumab reportedly worth $1.1 billion to the Danish brand.

Specifics of the deal include that  J&J unit Janssen Biotech will remit an up front payment to Genmab in the amount of $55 million, to be added to investments totaling some $70 million for starters.  Daratumumab is used to treat at type of bone marrow cancer known as multiple myeloma. The terms of the agreement stipulate that Genmab will grant Janssen exclusive world-wide licenses for the development and commercialization of the drug.

On the negative side of the public perception aisle, Johnson & Johnson settling a case involving the same subsidiary, Janssen, is the other side of the coin where brand strength goes. In the state’s case versus Janssen state and federal authorities contended Janssen promoted antipsychotic drug for more than one unapproved uses. Prosecutors in the case said the company concealed the drug Risperdal’s risks as well.

Prof. Jan G. J. van de Winkel, Ph.D.While Janssen admitted no wrongdoing, this deal is separate from another Risperdal settlement that could cost the company as much as $2 billion or more. For Genmab, the news of their deal can only be good for that company’s balance sheet. This report (PDF) shows  5.4 million shares of company stock being acquired by the American company. The company headed by Prof. Jan G. J. van de Winkel, Ph.D. (at right) was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1999. A publicly traded Danish company, Genmab employs 180 plus people at their headquarters and clinical development facilities, as well as at their admin office in Holland and in the US.

The company specializes in the creation and development of very special and differentiated human antibody therapeutics aimed at treating cancer. Their contemporaries, and in this news beneficiaries, Jannsen Biotech, leads in many areas of treatment including;  immunology, oncology and nephrology, among others.

Johnson & Johnson is one of the most respected brands in the world. Whether big court cases supersede the company’s positive moves toward helping defeat cancer offset, it is clear that J & J and other big corporations exert a great deal of resource in defending themselves in the courts. For many the monies laid out to cover these costs could be so much better applied to the science of healing. Still, some litigation always seems inevitable too, the “up and down” of doing business. Too bad.

PR agencies who have worked with various Johnson & Johnson divisions include Ruder Finn, Edelman PR and Hunter PR in New York.

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