May 28, 2024

Novo Holdings portfolio company Numab Therapeutics announces Johnson & Johnson (‘J&J’) to acquire its wholly-owned subsidiary Yellow Jersey Therapeutics

  • Under the agreement terms, J&J will pay $1.25 billion to acquire Yellow Jersey Therapeutics, which holds NM26 rights, and will gain full rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize NM26 globally for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and follow-on indications

  • NM26 is a Phase 2-ready bi-specific antibody from Numab’s pipeline of candidates discovered and engineered using its proprietary MATCH technology platform

  • Novo Holdings co-led Numab’s $110 million Series C financing in 2021 and participated in the Series C extension in 2022

  • Michael Bauer, Partner, Venture Investments, Novo Holdings continues on the Board of Numab Therapeutics AG

Copenhagen, Denmark, 28 May 2024 - Novo Holdings, a leading life science investor, today announces that its portfolio company Numab Therapeutics AG (Numab), a clinical stage biotechnology company advancing a proprietary pipeline of immunology and oncology therapeutics, has entered into a definitive agreement whereby Johnson & Johnson1 (NYSE: JNJ) acquires Yellow Jersey Therapeutics (YJT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Numab to be spun-off to Numab's shareholders. YJT comprises all assets relating to NM26, an investigational first-in-class bi-specific antibody for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) set to advance into Phase 2 clinical development. Under the terms of the acquisition, J&J will pay a purchase price of $1.25 billion in cash for YJT.

Michael Bauer, Partner, Venture Investments, Novo Holdings said: “Our initial investment in Numab was based on our strong conviction in the underlying technology of multi-specific antibodies. The Management and the Board took the strategic decision to focus the Company on NM26, an IL4/IL31 bi-specific antibody for use in auto-immune disease, with atopic dermatitis as the lead indication. This decisiveness paid off, with the program delivering exciting early data in patients leading to the acquisition.

“Numab’s highly experienced management team will continue to develop its promising pipeline. The Yellow Jersey Therapeutics trade sale adds to the list of very successful Swiss companies that we have supported such as Therachon, NBE and VectivBio in recent years, all of which were acquired.”  

Naveed Siddiqi, Senior Partner, Venture Investments, Novo Holdings, added: “This is the third $1 billion plus acquisition from the Venture Investments portfolio in 2024, following Cymabay (US) and Amolyt (France). These trade sales illustrate our strong track record of identifying promising investment opportunities and helping these companies to accelerate their value creation. We are focused on identifying biotechs with world class management teams, which are developing products that truly have the potential to advance patient care across therapeutic areas. We have an exciting pipeline of investment opportunities which we continue to advance.”

“We are thrilled to enter into this agreement with J&J and are confident they will be able to rapidly advance the development of NM26 for patients in need of a better treatment for atopic dermatitis and other conditions,” said David Urech, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Numab. “This transaction validates the power of our discovery and engineering platform and its potential to bring multiple novel multi-specific antibodies to large, underserved patient populations. Our partnering strategy engaging biopharma partners such as Kaken, Eisai, Boehringer Ingelheim and Ono from early on, has been instrumental in realizing the value of our platform and will continue to be key to advance our potentially transformative immunology and oncology programs.”

NM26 targets IL-4Rα (type I and type II receptors) and IL-31 to address the hallmarks of the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis. The antibody was discovered and engineered using Numab’s proprietary MATCH™ technology platform, which is designed to fuel a new wave of multi-specific antibody drug candidates.

The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the second half of 2024, subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Centerview Partners LLC acted as advisors to Numab on this transaction.

About Numab Therapeutics AG

Numab Therapeutics AG is developing multi-specific antibody-based immunotherapies for inflammation and cancer. Numab’s reproducible plug-and-play therapeutic design process using proprietary platforms λ-Cap™ and MATCH™ puts it in a unique position to overcome historical drug discovery barriers and build a pipeline of new and important medicines aimed to maximize patient benefits. Numab’s diverse research pipeline spans oncology, immunology and inflammatory diseases and creates the opportunity for the next generation of first-in-class and best-in-class medicines. Several of the Company’s antibody candidates are being developed in partnership with biopharma collaborators, further validating the platform and development capabilities. For further information, visit

About Novo Holdings A/S

Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that is responsible for managing the assets and the wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of Novo Holdings is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet by generating attractive long-term returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk and Novonesis and manages an investment portfolio with a long-term return perspective. In addition to managing a broad portfolio of equities, bonds, real estate, infrastructure and private equity assets, Novo Holdings is a world-leading life sciences investor. Through its Seeds, Venture, Growth, and Principal Investments teams, Novo Holdings invests in life science companies at all stages of development.

As of year-end 2023, Novo Holdings had total assets of EUR 149 billion.

Further information

Novo Holdings A/S

Dora González, Public Relations Specialist, +1 617 922 5027,