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) --

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

has purchased 14.6 million shares of



, or 18% of the Dutch biotechnology company, for 301.8 million euros ($441 million) under a partnership to develop flu vaccines.

J&J said the immediate focus of the collaboration will be to develop and commercialize a universal monoclonal antibody product (flu-mAb) for treating and preventing flu. The companies also will work to develop vaccines for other infectious and non-infectious diseases.

The companies also have agreed to development milestones and royalty payments based on the successful development and commercialization of products.

Under the flu-mAb collaboration, J&J's Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals division and Crucell will seek to develop a universal flu-mAb product targeting all influenza A strains, which cause seasonal flu and the current pandemic including H1N1 strains, and the bird flu strain.

J&J said the transaction is expected to dilute 2009 adjusted earnings by 2 cents to 4 cents a share.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York


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