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J&J to record $700 million charge related to abandoned drug program

FILE PHOTO: A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson on Thursday said https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/200406/000020040619000016/a20190321alios8-k.htm it will record a nearly $700 million impairment charge in the first quarter of 2019 related to the abandoned development of its experimental antiviral drug, AL-8176.

The company had https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/200406/000020040618000049/a8-k2018q3.htm recorded a partial impairment charge of about $630 million related to the treatment in the third quarter last year after having suspended trials in August.

J&J added AL-8176 to its pipeline through its $1.75 billion buyout of Alios Biopharma Inc in 2014.

The drug was being developed to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) that cause respiratory tract infections in children and adults.

While RSV causes little more than common cold in some patients, it could lead to serious lung infections and even death in high-risk patients like babies and the elderly.

AstraZeneca Plc sells the only approved vaccine to prevent RSV in children.


(Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)