Johnson & Johnson says that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire TransForm Pharmaceuticals – a privately held company specialising in the discovery of superior formulations and novel crystalline forms of drug molecules – for $230 million dollars.

The cash-for-stock deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2005, providing it wins anti-trust clearance. J&J expects to incur a one-time charge in the region of $50 million for in-process research and development, but said that the purchase will not affect its 2005 earnings guidance [[26/01/05c]].

“TransForm is a strong, strategic addition to our pharmaceutical research, discovery and development model,” said Harlan Weisman, J&J’s group chairman, R&D, pharmaceuticals.

The news comes as J&J awaits the green light from the US Federal Trade Commission for its proposed $25 billion purchase of US devices company, Guidant [[16/12/04a]]. The merger, which is the largest in J&J’s 118-year history, is expected to close during the third quarter of the year, in spite of an FTC request for further information from the companies because of overlaps in several areas [[22/02/05d]], [[14/12/04c]].