Will the J&J Deal With Achillion Transform the Hep C Market?

As drug makers jockey for their share of the fast-growing hepatitis C market, the deal between Johnson & Johnson JNJ -0.35% and Achillion Pharmaceuticals ACHN -15.26% has Wall Street analysts rethinking forecasts.

The deal, which was announced late yesterday after a Twitter rumor had Gilead Sciences GILD -0.35% buying Achillion, calls for J&J to invest $225 million and assume responsibility for development costs. Ultimately, the value of the agreement could reach $1.1 billion, depending on milestones reached.

For J&J, the move may help reposition the company as a player in the hepatitis C market. And for Achillion, the collaboration provides a deep-pocketed partner for a company that some saw as a buyout target. But to what extent will this transform the hepatitis C market and what are the implications for the other drug makers? Here are what some of the wags are saying…

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