Janssen licenses new IBD drug candidate from Vedanta Biosciences

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Janssen and parent company Johnson and Johnson have agreed to license a promising new autoimmune disease therapy from Vedanta Biosciences.

VE202 is Vedanta's lead microbiome pharmaceutical candidate and has been shown in published preclinical studies to offer efficacy in models of autoimmune disease. Janssen will develop and commercialise the candidate in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

“Janssen has signed a license agreement with Vedanta Biosciences for the company's lead microbiome pharmaceutical candidate VE202.“

Under the terms of the deal, Vedanta will receive an up-front payment, plus development and commercialisation milestone payments for an IBD indication up to a potential total of $241 million (158.89 million pounds), plus possible additional considerations.

Vedanta may continue to explore other disease indications for the compound, and Janssen and Vedanta may also choose to develop and commercialise the drug within one or more other indications with terms similar to the IBD indication.

Sue Dillon, global therapeutic area head for immunology at Janssen Research and Development, said: "The human microbiome is a strategic area of research and development and we have formed a number of exciting biotech and academic collaborations in this promising scientific space."

This comes after the firm agreed to work with Isis Pharmaceuticals last week to jointly develop RNA-targeted therapeutics for autoimmune diseases in the gastrointestinal tract.

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