Janssen Biotech Inc. entered into an exclusive license and research collaboration agreement with New York University School of Medicine (NYU) in October 2012 for the development of novel antibody-based biologic agents for the treatment and prevention of staphylococcal infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Under the license agreement, Janssen has exclusive access to intellectual property (IP) issued to NYU covering utilization of key leukotoxins in staphylococcal infections. Janssen BioTherapeutics (JBIO) was critical in the first phase of the program, identifying an initial series of biologic agents that target key S. aureus virulence factors, including the leukotoxins licensed from NYU, and continues to provide crucial support to the partnership. Characterization of the activity and efficacy of these prototypic agents led to additional involvement by the Janssen Incubator, which provided a platform for the program to be leveraged as an internal venture focused on MRSA.
“ The people who I interact with at JBIO are leaders in their respective areas and they have a willingness to move things forward and remove boundaries. This partnership has been tremendous and I think it would be very difficult to find a better team.”
Victor Torres, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology
New York University School of Medicine
Driven by collaboration, this partnership encompasses discovery and development activities executed by both Janssen and NYU. Janssen is focused on identification and optimization of the biologic agents and studies necessary to support development of therapeutic candidates for evaluation in clinical studies. Meanwhile, the laboratory of Professor Victor Torres at NYU is conducting key ongoing studies to further define the roles and mechanisms of leukotoxins in causing staphylococcal infections and testing lead biologic agents generated at Janssen.
The partnership with Janssen provides the team at NYU industry expertise and resources essential to the discovery and development of therapeutic agents, while NYU is giving Janssen access to critical targets. Throughout the partnership, the teams have communicated, shared data and attended in-person meetings far beyond the terms outlined in the license and collaboration agreement to build a valuable and mutually-beneficial working relationship.
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