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J&J to Pay $85 Million to License Tesaro Cancer Drug Rights

Johnson & Johnson will pay $85 million for rights to develop and sell Tesaro Inc.’s experimental pill for prostate cancer, a disease area where J&J is looking to defend its dominance.

J&J will invest $50 million in Tesaro stock, paying $44.24 a share, and will pay $35 million in cash up front for rights to the cancer drug, called niraparib, according to a statement Wednesday. Waltham, Massachusetts-based Tesaro may also get as much as $415 million in potential milestone payments from J&J.

Prostate cancer has become a more competitive market for J&J as its blockbuster pill Zytiga may lose its top-selling spot in the area to Medivation Inc.’s Xtandi, according to...