Some of J&J's McNeil brands likely joining Sanofi's Chattem, Inc.

At least on a headquarters basis, some of Johnson & Johnson's famous over-the-products could be moving from the Philadelphia suburb of Fort Washington to Chattanooga, Tenn.

Sanofi-aventis, the Paris-based pharmaceutical company with U.S. headquarters in New Jersey and a research facility in the Philadelphia suburb of Malvern, increased its over-the-counter consumer products business in 2009, when it spent $1.9 billion for Chattem, Inc.

Chattem, which has been in operation since the 1880s, is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn., and has name brands such as Gold Bond, Icy Hot, ACT, Cortizone-10, Selsun Blue and Unisom.

J&J's McNeil unit's most famous products include Tylenol, Band-Aids and Listerine.

On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission posted a notice of a "early termination" of its review of a proposed deal between J&J and Sanofi, involving J&J's McNeil, PPC division.

The McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit is underneath the McNeil PPC label in J&J's sometimes cryptic organizational chart. McNeil Consumer Healthcare makes Tylenol and other products, while headquartered in Fort Washington. The Fort Washington plant has not produced medicine since April 2010, when it was shutdown to fix problems that led to dozens of recalls.

The companies said relatively little on Friday afternoon, as reported on PhillyPharma and in Saturday's Inquirer.

“We don’t comment on pending business development transactions.” Sanofi spokesman Jack Cox said.

But the deal will not include selling the McNeil Consumer Healthcare facility in Fort Washington, according to McNeil Consumer Healthcare spokeswoman Barbara Montresor.

Montresor declined comment on the specifics of the deal and whether there would be any employment impact in Fort Washington. The FDA and a federal judge will have to approve resumption of production.

“We continue to develop our manufacturing facility in Fort Washington, we have met all of our consent decree milestones and expect to be ready for FDA certification at the end of 2013,” Montresor said.

As for what brands might be going to Sanofi, Montresor said only, “We regularly evaluate our brand portfolio and consider growth options for all of the brands.”

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