Janssen is deeply committed to passionately pursuing medical research on behalf of people living with serious and chronic conditions. That’s why we’re so excited about our partnerships with Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation that’s also dedicated to improving health. Together, we’re exploring new ways to address diverse unmet medical needs such as mood disorders, neurodegenerative disease, childhood HIV and a viral infection called dengue.
The immune system and psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders have an established link. Inflammatory processes can spark phenomena resembling mood disorders or neurodegeneration. Patients with depression and Alzheimer’s disease have increased levels of biological markers in their blood for inflammatory processes.
We recently teamed up with H. Lundbeck A/S and seven universities in the United Kingdom, including Cambridge, Cardiff, Glasgow, King’s College London, Oxford, Southampton, and Sussex, to investigate that connection. Janssen and Lundbeck, a Denmark-based global pharmaceutical company specializing in brain diseases, will provide financial support, drug discovery know-how, preclinical models, imaging expertise and access to anti-inflammatory drugs. Our academic partners will contribute expertise in neuroimaging, clinical phenotyping and trials, animal models and informatics. The project is being funded with a five-million pound strategic award from the Wellcome Trust, and facilitated through Johnson & Johnson Innovation, part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.
“By combining the expertise and resources of pharma companies and academics,” says Jeffrey Nye, Vice President of Scientific Partnership Strategy and Neuroscience Innovation at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, who helped assemble the consortium, “we hope to speed the translation of these approaches into new therapies.”
We’re also taking a leadership role in the fight against HIV by collaborating with five other research-based pharmaceutical companies as part of the HIV Medicines Research Industry Forum. Facilitated by the Wellcome Trust, the Forum supports the foundation’s Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action to accelerate the development of high-priority pediatric treatments for HIV infection by 2017.
The group, which also includes AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Merck & Co., Inc., and ViiV Healthcare, has joined forces with the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“It is marvelous to see the coming together of the companies to be part of this multi-stakeholder effort to provide the benefit of their collective experience and expertise in HIV drug discovery and development to help address unmet medical needs in the treatment of children living with HIV,” says Ted Bianco, Director of Innovations at the Wellcome Trust.
Also, since 2013, Janssen has been collaborating with Wellcome Trust and Belgium’s University of Leuven to research treatments for dengue.
Also known as breakbone fever, the viral infection dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes, and is a danger in almost all tropical and subtropical regions. For the nearly 400 million people infected each year, the devastating flu-like fever, rash, and muscle and joint pains can turn life-threatening. As yet, no vaccine or treatment exists.
Our research collaboration with the Trust and the University of Leuven is intended to evaluate that. We’re researching and developing antiviral drugs, with the goal of making them suitable for clinical development.