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Discovering Solutions to Infectious Diseases


Infectious Diseases & Vaccines

Infectious Diseases & Vaccines

The structure of HIV
The structure of HIV

We apply cutting-edge science, technology and knowledge in combating life-threatening infectious diseases.

Our scientists aim to discover transformational medicines and vaccine candidates against a range of life-threatening infectious diseases. Many pathogens are notorious for their ability to mutate and become resistant to therapy. Therefore, it is vital that new medicines cope with this genetic variability and the emergence of resistance. To this end, we profile drug compounds against clinically relevant resistant pathogens from the very beginning of the discovery process, a unique strategy to tackle this issue.

The goal of our discovery team is to identify novel and effective candidates against a range of infectious diseases. In human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), we use a unique cell-based drug discovery platform that enables the screening of thousands of chemical compounds for both activity against HIV and for cellular toxicity. Recombinant viral targets, which are also being explored, represent an alternative screening approach. Bringing together expertise in high-throughput screening platforms, molecular biology, functional genomics, biochemistry and cellular virology enables the application of these assays to the discovery of novel drug candidates.

Our strategic focus on profiling resistant variants during the antiviral drug discovery process is unique.  Given the mutable nature of many pathogens (like HIV, hepatitis C and mycobacteria), it is critical that new drug candidates entering clinical development have the ability to overcome this genetic variability.We integrate pharmacogenomics early into the discovery process, enhancing the probability of success in selecting agents that retain activity against pathogens, especially those with the greatest potential to avoid the emergence of resistant viruses. We have also developed an extensive network of research collaborations, partnerships and licensing agreements with academic institutions, public organizations and companies in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

In the therapeutics space we are working on potentially transformational candidates in hepatitis B, influenza, respiratory infections and dengue, among others. For Janssen, the acquisition of Crucell in 2011 has provided a firm foothold in the increasingly important field of disease prevention. Innovation is the driving force behind our strong vaccines pipeline. We are working on immunization candidates to combat diseases like HIV, influenza, RSV, human papillomavirus, polio, Ebola and Marburg fevers, and numerous other viral and bacterial diseases that are high on the list of global health concern. These are supported by a range of patented technologies such as our PER.C6® human cell-line technology, which could enable faster and more cost-effective production of our future vaccines and biologicals.