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J&J Deal Heats Up One of the Most Competitive Drug Markets

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Johnson & Johnson agreed to develop and market Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s drug for hepatitis C, thrusting the world’s biggest maker of health-care products back into the growing competition for patients of the liver disease.

J&J will work with Achillion on one or more of its top hepatitis C treatments, which may include ACH-3102, ACH-3422 and sovaprevir, in exchange for royalty payments, the companies said Tuesday in a statement. In a separate deal, J&J will pay $225 million for a stake in Achillion.