J&J Bets Up to $325 million on Capricor: Big Pharma Stem Cell Move as Predicted for 2014

linda marban CapricorBig Pharma Giant Johnson & Johnson (J & J; $JNJ) announced today a $12.5 million investment in stem cells & regenerative medicine via the small biotech Capricor ($CAPR) and the potential for the bet to go into the hundreds of millions for the heart disease program.

It was only 8 days ago that I made my stem cell predictions for 2014 and #3 on the list was “Big announcement  from “Big Pharma” on stem cells or regenerative medicine.”

Chalk that up for the crystal ball of this blog at one for one so far for 2014.

According to the FierceBiotech today:

Later this week a little biotech named Capricor Therapeutics is set to begin a Phase II study of its new stem cell therapy with about $20 million in support from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

J&J’s role could shoot up to over $300 million depending on how things go.

I’d call that big money. Investors seem enthused as well as the CAPR stock is up nearly 50% today at the close.

The Capricor adult stem cell product is CAP-1002, which is in clinical trial and consists of allogeneic cardiosphere-derived cells. The trial may enroll up to 274 patients, which is impressive.

FierceBiotech quotes Capricor CEO Linda Marban (pictured above) as follows:

“One of the reasons why I was motivated to work on this deal is because of the statement it makes in the field,” says the CEO. “It says, OK, somebody very large and powerful is taking a look at this technology and saying there’s something there, and that’s the most exciting thing for me.”

I’ll be very curious to see what else big pharma might have in store on the stem cell/regenerative medicine front.

Disclosure: To my knowledge, I have no financial interests in the companies discussed in this piece.

2 thoughts on “J&J Bets Up to $325 million on Capricor: Big Pharma Stem Cell Move as Predicted for 2014”

  1. The key point is that Big Pharma has moved in on an allogeneic therapy. Allogeneic therapies fit the Big Pharma/FDA business model — whereas when the Big Pharma/FDA business model is applied to an autologous therapy it becomes prohibitively expensive. Others predicted, long ago, that this was the actual reason behind the FDA changing the rules to shut down autologous therapies by some very conscientious medical doctors… Your #8 prediction (that Regenerative Sciences will not succeed in its challenge to FDA overreach) will certainly be music to the ears of Big Pharma and their acolytes.

    I hope you are wrong on prediction #8. Big Pharma hegemony is not good for patients…

  2. Pingback: 1 for 1 on 2014 Predictions as of Jan 6: J&J Big Pharma Play on Stem Cells for up to $325 million

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