NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced an exclusive license agreement with Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. (CTTQ), a Chinese domestic pharmaceutical company and subsidiary of Sino Biopharma, Ltd. focused on liver diseases, to develop, manufacture and commercialize, outside of China, undisclosed immune-modulating agents to treat human diseases, including curative treatment of chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
The agreement, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Janssen Business Development, follows the recent acquisition of Novira Therapeutics, Inc. and collaborations with Ichor Medical Systems, Inc. and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, to address the significant unmet medical need inflicted by HBV. Chronic Hepatitis B is a potentially fatal liver disease with approximately 60 percent of hepatocellular carcinoma cases attributed to infection with the Hepatitis B virus. Current therapies are unable to cure the infection, requiring most people to endure lifelong treatment. More than 350 million people are infected with HBV worldwide.
“Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s mission is to identify the best science around the world to advance important therapies and products for patients and consumers,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. “Today, we are announcing an important new collaboration with Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Group, which along with our additional new collaborations in the Hepatitis B area, demonstrates the strength and capabilities of our worldwide innovation model.”
“Our aim is to develop a cure for Hepatitis B by building the best internal and external pipeline of promising, complementary solutions and advancing them into the clinic as rapidly as possible,” said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Janssen Research & Development. “We are excited by the opportunity to work with Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Group and to fully leverage our expertise in this critical disease area in order to bring potentially transformational treatments to patients.”
Advancing the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Model
Johnson & Johnson Innovation is also announcing 21 new collaborations across its Consumer, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals sectors. Eight of these collaborations are in the Consumer and Medical Devices sectors, reflecting new strategic initiatives recently launched by Research & Development leaders in collaboration with teams focused on External Innovation. These new initiatives will fully leverage the Johnson & Johnson Innovation model and cross-sector focus.
In the Pharmaceuticals sector, in addition to the exciting collaborations announced today, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation are announcing a new program for accelerating the development of select internal, early-stage pre-clinical and clinical candidates through external collaboration. In the program, certain candidates will be partnered for continued advancement with the option to explore subsequent deal structures in the future. This new paradigm recognizes the strong in-house development focus on core Janssen disease areas and the need for business models that support the development of further potential therapies for patients through different, innovative routes.
“Our Johnson & Johnson Innovation Research & Development and Commercial leadership across all of our operating companies are continuously refining our external and internal innovation model,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D. “We are very excited by the continued expansion of this model across all three sectors of Johnson & Johnson. Our goal is to continuously work to be the most innovative company in the world on behalf of our patients and consumers through both our internal R&D programs and through our external collaborations.”
Twenty-One New Cross-Sector Collaborations Focused on Developing Healthcare Solutions to Address Global Unmet Needs
These 21 new collaborations were facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers in Asia-Pacific, Boston, California or London, or through Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Inc.; or Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Janssen Business Development.
Developing Next-Generation Medical Devices to Improve Patient Outcomes
• Delivering a Non-invasive Treatment Modality for Solid Tumors – Although surgical resection remains the gold standard treatment for solid tumors, approximately 85 percent of patients are not candidates for surgical resection, particularly those with cancers of the liver and pancreas. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. has entered into a collaboration with HistoSonics, a company developing histotripsy, a non-invasive soft tissue ablation modality that mechanically homogenizes target tissue, resulting in complete cellular destruction.
• Growing Custom Surgical Devices – Medical Devices & Diagnostics Global Services, LLC has formed a collaboration with Carbon 3D to develop custom surgical devices using Carbon 3D’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) technology. CLIP is a technique of 3D printing that allows the product to grow from a pool of resin instead of being printed.
• Improving Outcomes in Patients with Persistent Atrial Fibrillation – Biosense Webster, Inc. has established a collaboration with Northwestern University to accelerate the development of an innovative new approach to the treatment of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). This approach involves using computational phase mapping and catheter ablation to target a fundamental molecular mechanism underlying atrial fibrillation. This approach is expected to significantly improve the outcome of catheter ablation in persistent AF.
• Improving Outcomes in Joint Replacement Patients – A major unmet need in joint replacement surgery is limiting procedural variation, making the outcomes more accurate and reproducible. DePuy Synthes Products Inc. created a collaboration with Brainlab AG, a world leader in computer assisted surgery and navigation, to create the next generation knee navigation system that addresses access, accuracy and operating room footprint.
• Decreasing Back Pain and Modulating Disc Degeneration – Back pain is one of the leading drivers of lost workdays globally. New solutions are needed to intercept the disease earlier and delay the need for end-stage procedures. DePuy Synthes, working through its Medos International Sarl subsidiary, has created a research collaboration with Rainbow Medical Ltd. to investigate a transformative solution to not only alleviate pain, but also delay or reverse the progression of the degenerative process.
Meeting the Healthcare Needs of Consumers
• Disrupting the Biofilm Culprit of Dental Caries and Periodontal Disease – Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. has formed a research collaboration with BioMed X, an innovation incubation company on the campus of the University of Heidelberg. This collaboration will focus on biofilm disruption. Biofilms or plaque can lead to a number of oral conditions including gingivitis, caries and halitosis so their control for optimal oral health is of significant importance.
• Utilizing the Microbiome and Population Data for Skin Health – Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. has partnered with ProdermIQ, Inc. to explore the potential of ProdermIQ’s proprietary SKINdex Skin Health Measurement platform. SKINdex utilizes the precise evaluation of skin microbial communities that together with their database of demographic, lifestyle and clinical data provides the context necessary to gain insights into novel intervention strategies for maintaining healthy skin or treating skin conditions.
• Building New Preclinical Models of Disease for Human Hair Growth – Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. has formed a research collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania to develop improved preclinical models for the study of human hair growth and androgenetic alopecia.
Exploring Pharmaceutical Solutions in Areas of High, Unmet Need
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
• Improving HIV Outcomes in Resource Poor Settings – Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has formed a partnership with Cue to accelerate the development of an HIV viral load test on Cue’s Lab-In-A-Box molecular diagnostic platform. Routine viral load testing is crucial for optimal management of HIV patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART); however, the cost and technical complexity of such testing limits access in resource- poor settings. The technology is aimed at bringing simplicity, immediacy and affordability to the field of HIV viral load testing in an unprecedented way.
• Developing a Therapeutic Vaccine for HIV – Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Inc. participated in the Series A financing of a new start- up company, Aelix Therapeutics, spun out of HIVACAT, a large HIV research center in Barcelona, Spain. Based on the clinical insights and research of its founder, Dr. Christian Brander, Aelix Therapeutics is developing a new therapeutic vaccine for HIV. A high, unmet medical need, the goal of the vaccine is to allow people living with HIV to discontinue anti-retroviral therapy and thereby ease the overall treatment and system burden. Ysios Capital, a leading Spanish venture capital firm, led the round, and Caixa Capital Risc, the venture capital division of “la Caixa,” the leading financial group in Spain, also joined in the financing.
• Developing the First, Long-Acting Injectable Combination Regimen for HIV – Janssen Sciences Ireland UC has entered a definitive agreement with ViiV Healthcare on phase III development and commercialization of a combination regimen of two long-acting, all- injectable formulations of rilpivirine and cabotegravir. If successfully developed and approved, people living with HIV could potentially maintain viral suppression with just six injections [of each drug] per year. Despite great progress in developing HIV treatments, the day-to-day burden of managing HIV remains high and poses challenges to ensure people living with HIV maintain an undetectable viral load.
Throat, Prostate, Lung and Colorectal Cancers
• Discovering Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer – Janssen Biotech, Inc. and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT have entered into a sponsored research agreement, led by Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia, focused on the targeted discovery of novel biomarkers for prostate cancer.
• Discovering Novel Targets for Lung Cancer – Janssen Biotech, Inc. and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT have entered into a sponsored research agreement, led by Dr. Tyler Jacks, focused on novel target discovery and biomarker analysis for lung cancer.
• Validating Innovative Medicines with Organoid Disease Models – Janssen Biotech, Inc. has formed a research collaboration with the Foundation Hubrecht Organoid Technology to identify and validate drug candidates for unmet medical needs, including colorectal cancer, using organoid technology. Organoids have proven to be valuable disease models for the high-throughput screening and validation of innovative medicines, bypassing limitations associated with cell-line- and xenograft- based preclinical drug studies.
• Developing T-cell Engaging Antibody Therapy Targeting Intracellular Oncogenes – The vast majority of current antibody therapies target cell surface proteins and receptors. Eureka Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing T-cell based immunotherapies for solid tumors, uses proprietary fully human antibody discovery and T-cell engineering technologies to generate TCR-like antibodies that target intracellular cancer antigens. Janssen Biotech, Inc. has entered into a collaboration with Eureka to further develop one such antibody against lung cancer, utilizing the Wonder Entrepreneur Accelerator that is a broad collaboration with WuXi AppTec, a global contract R&D service provider with a corporate venture arm.
• Preventing Influenza Infection Using A Novel Approach – Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has formed a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania that will initially focus on the prevention of influenza infection by utilizing Adeno Associated Virus (AAV) vector gene therapy technology to deliver Janssen’s proprietary anti-influenza antibody.
• Developing Novel Treatments for Diabetes – Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has established a research collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison/Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) to identify and develop novel treatments for diabetes.
• Identifying Novel Biomarkers for Beta-cell Function – Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has entered into a research collaboration with the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), a nonprofit biomedical research organization co-founded by Dr. Leroy Hood. The teams will work jointly to search for novel biomarkers of beta-cell function, which could potentially be used to build diagnostic tools to monitor disease progression in the pre- diabetic and diabetic stages.
• Targeting Insulin Resistance – Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has extended an ongoing research collaboration with Dr. Jerrold M. Olefsky at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) on a target discovery platform for novel insulin-sensitizing mechanisms.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
• Discovering Novel Targets and Candidates for Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Janssen Biotech, Inc. has entered into a three-party research collaboration with Enterome and the French National Institute for Agriculture Research (INRA) to conduct two microbiome inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) discovery projects. The projects are anticipated to reveal novel host-microbe biology and to identify novel targets and new molecular entities (NMEs).
• Treating Neglected Tropical Diseases – Chagas disease is a tropical disease that, according to the World Health Organization, affects approximately six to seven million people globally and is curable if treatment is initiated soon after infection. The disease is endemic in Latin America and is considered an emerging disease in several countries, including the United States, Japan and Australia. Janssen Research & Development, LLC (Janssen R&D) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have entered into a research collaboration to identify new targets for Chagas disease. As part of this collaboration, Janssen R&D will provide UCSD with funding and samples from Janssen R&D’s proprietary “Jump-stARter” molecular library of compounds to identify chemical probes for studying the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite and its relevance in this neglected tropical disease.
About Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Johnson & Johnson Innovation is working to accelerate scientific innovation at all stages of development worldwide to deliver cutting-edge solutions that solve unmet needs for patients. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with one-stop access to the broad resources of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies across the Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices and Consumer healthcare segments. This includes access to dealmakers, through the innovation centers located in global life science hot spots and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Janssen Business Development; venture investment, through Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Inc.; company incubation, through Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS; as well as R&D, manufacturing and commercialization expertise across all three segments. For more information, visit www.jnjinnovation.com or follow @JNJInnovation.
About Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At Janssen, we are dedicated to addressing some of the most important unmet medical needs in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world. For more information, visit www.janssen.com or follow @JanssenGlobal.
Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 related to new collaborations and product development. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the potential that the expected benefits and opportunities related to the collaborations may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected; challenges and uncertainties inherent in new product development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and obtaining regulatory approvals; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; the ability of the company to successfully execute strategic plans; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 28, 2014, including in Exhibit 99 thereto, and the company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Johnson & Johnson do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.