J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc has announced exclusively licensed access to a portfolio of small molecule and biologic research programs focused on the regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells in people with diabetes from Evotec AG and Harvard University.
All drug development on behalf of Janssen will be conducted by Janssen Research & Development, LLC.
In 2011, Evotec, Harvard and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) formed a collaboration called CureBeta to further analyse and characterise drug candidates and targets identified by scientists at the Harvard University laboratory of Douglas Melton, PhD.
Dr. Melton is the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor at Harvard University and an HHMI Investigator.
One of the hallmarks of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is the decline of functional beta cells. Beta cells located in the pancreatic islet synthesise, store and secrete insulin.
Their progressive failure and loss leads to diabetes, which makes the beta cell an important target for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes research.
''Beta cell survival and function play a critical role in maintaining normal glucose levels and when they are compromised, can contribute to the onset of diabetes,'' said Peter DiBattiste, M.D., global therapeutic head, cardiovascular and metabolism at Janssen Research & Development.
''This collaboration strengthens our long term diabetes development pipeline and directly reflects our commitment to making a difference for the millions of people worldwide living with this disease,'' DiBattiste