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Centocor-Johnson & Johnson Talks End

May 13, 1999|Bloomberg News

Centocor Inc., one of the few biotechnology companies with products and profits, ended talks with Johnson & Johnson about buying Centocor, a person familiar with the situation said. J&J and Centocor executives declined to comment on the end of the talks. Shares of Centocor fell $4.88, more than 10%, to close at $41.63 on the news, previously reported by CNBC. Shares of J&J, the world's No. 1 seller of medical products, rose $1.88 to close at $94.69. The talks may have faltered because of Centocor's agreement with J&J's rival, Eli Lilly & Co., for marketing of Centocor's top-selling drug, the clot-preventer ReoPro. ReoPro is used in an artery-clearing procedure known as angioplasty. New Brunswick, N.J.-based J&J already sells equipment used in angioplasty, including the balloon-tipped catheters snaked through arteries in the procedure. "Centocor still remains an attractive [merger] candidate. If not with J&J, then somebody else," said Akhtar Samad, a health-care analyst with Oscar Gruss & Son.

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