US-based Johnson & Johnson has signed an agreement to acquire a privately held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, Alios BioPharma, for $1.75bn in cash.
Based in California, US, Alios develops therapies for the treatment of viral diseases.
The discovery and development platform of Alios include chemical library of nucleoside analogues, as well as virology-based screening systems.
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson research and development global head William Hait said: "We are excited that this acquisition will enable us to explore treatment options for a number of viral infections, including RSV, the last of the major paediatric diseases with no available preventive therapy.
"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."
Currently, Alios is carrying out Phase II trials for AL-8176, to treat infants with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The company is developing therapeutics for viral infections, which are caused by respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, rhinovirus, coronavirus and HCV.
Alios BioPharma president and CEO Lawrence Blatt said: "We are so pleased to be joining the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, who have an impressive track record of bringing breakthrough drugs for viral diseases to market."
The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions.