- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - Johnson & Johnson is buying the biopharmaceutical company Alios BioPharma Inc. for about $1.75 billion.

Alios is a privately held California-based company that focuses on developing therapies for viral diseases.

The deal includes Alios’ portfolio of potential therapeutics for viral infections including compound AL-8176, an orally administered antiviral therapy currently in Phase 2 studies for the treatment of infants with respiratory syncytial virus. RSV typically causes only mild, cold-like symptoms in most children. But it is also the most common cause of pneumonia in U.S. infants.

“AL-8176 complements our existing early stage portfolio for RSV which aims to prevent and treat this disease, the leading cause of acute lower respiratory infection in children under the age of five,” William N. Hait, Global Head of Research Development at Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. of Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement.

The acquisition is targeted to close in the fourth quarter.

Johnson & Johnson is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Its stock rose 12 cents to $106.66 in morning trading Tuesday. Its shares are up 23 percent over the past year.

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