Aragon Pharmaceuticals Announces Acquisition by Johnson & Johnson

Aragon Pharmaceuticals Announces Acquisition by Johnson & Johnson 
Aragon to Spin Off New Corporation, Seragon Pharmaceuticals, Focused
on Selective Estrogen Receptor Degrader Platform 
SAN DIEGO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/17/13 --  Aragon Pharmaceuticals
Inc., a leader in developing drugs for hormone driven cancers, today
announced a definitive agreement with Johnson & Johnson whereby
Aragon will be acquired for $650 million in cash up front along with
$350 million in contingent development milestone payments that could
bring the total transaction value to $1 billion. The acquisition
includes Aragon's androgen receptor antagonist program, including its
most advanced compound, ARN-509, a second generation androgen
receptor signaling inhibitor that is currently being evaluated in a
Phase II trial in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer. 
Prior to closing, Aragon will spin off an independent, newly formed
corporation called Seragon Pharmaceuticals, which will be focused
primarily on Aragon's Selective Estrogen Receptor Degrader (SERD)
platform, including ARN-810, its lead SERD currently being evaluated
in a Phase I trial for ER+ metastatic breast cancer. Seragon will be
based in San Diego, CA and will be financed by the current Aragon
investors. It will retain members of the management team including,
Richard Heyman, current Chief Executive Officer of Aragon, who will
become Seragon's CEO. Johnson & Johnson will not have an ownership
stake in Seragon nor retain any rights to its technology or product
development pipeline.  
"This agreement represents seamless transition between biotech and
Pharma and will provide an optimal outcome for the ARN-509 program
and the prostate cancer patient community. The Aragon team is
passionate about bringing game changing therapies to cancer patients
and is excited to have Johnson & Johnson carry forward this
innovative prostate cancer treatment. Johnson & Johnson is clearly a
recognized leader in the oncology field, and their development and
commercial capabilities in the prostate cancer area are
unparalleled," said Richard A. Heyman, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer
and one of the co-founders of Aragon Pharmaceuticals. 
"I would like to thank Rich and the entire team at Aragon for their
commitment and steadfast belief in the ground breaking science behind
ARN-509. In just four years since the founding of Aragon the company
has advanced ARN-509 from an early preclinical asset through Phase II
as well as building a strong pipeline of novel therapeutics targeting
hormone dependent cancers. I would also like to thank Dr. Charles
Sawyers for his pioneering work, which made the founding of Aragon
possible. This is an ideal path which will hopefully translate to
improving the lives of patients in the near-term as well as providing
a new opportunity to advance the Aragon pipeline in the newly created
spin off structure of Seragon," said Peter Svennilson, Founder and
Managing Partner of The Column Group and Chairman of Aragon. 
BofA Merrill Lynch served as exclusive financial advisor and Wilson
Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati served as legal advisor to Aragon
Pharmaceuticals in this transaction. 
About Aragon Pharmaceuticals 
Aragon is focused on the development of second generation
anti-hormonal agents for hormone-driven cancers. The company's
portfolio of small molecule therapeutics is in part based upon
pioneering research by Charles Sawyers, identifying key molecular
events that lead to drug resistance to traditional anti-hormonal
therapies; Dr. Sawyers is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes
Medical Institute and the inaugural Director of the Human Oncology
and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center. This work has broad implications for the development of
breakthrough medicines for prostate cancer and other
hormone-dependent cancers such as breast, ovarian and endometrial
cancer. Aragon is a San Diego, California based privately held
company founded in 2009 and incubated by The Column Group. The
Company's investors include The Column Group, OrbiMed Advisors,
Aisling Capital, TopSpin and venBio. For more information, visit  
For further information, please contact: 
Paul Cleveland 
EVP of Corporate Strategy & Chief Financial Officer 
Aragon Pharmaceuticals 
(858) 369-7645 
Hershel Berry
Blueprint Life Science Group
(415) 375-3340, Ext. 102 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.