BioMed X and Janssen R&D announce two research groups

Published: 2-Aug-2021

The groups will explore research related to autoimmunity and drug delivery

Independent research institute BioMed X has announced the start of two research projects with Janssen Research & Development, a Johnson & Johnson company. The start of these projects represents a major milestone in the companies’ collaboration, they say, and addresses two challenging research areas. Both collaborations were facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

The research group PTA (Protective Tissue Factors in Autoimmune Diseases) is led by Mojca Frank Bertoncelj, PhD, joining BioMed X from the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland. Her research group will develop approaches to combat chronic inflammatory diseases. The aim is to identify protective factors in the tissue microenvironment of patients with auto-inflammatory diseases with the overall goal of discovering and validating novel drug targets in these diseases.

Bertoncelj said: “We aim to develop a 3D human joint-in-a-dish platform that closely mimics the inflamed joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis utilizing diverse methodologies including single-cell omics, gene-editing, bio-scaffold manufacturing, and stem to adult joint cell differentiation. This innovative platform will enable high-throughput testing and discovery of novel joint-protective therapeutics.”

The second research group TMI (Translocation of Complex Macromolecules Across the Intestinal Epithelial Barrier), led by Kyungbo Kim, PhD, strives to discover transport mechanisms in the human intestinal tract to be used for oral delivery of various macromolar therapeutic modalities. Dr Kim is joining BioMed X from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, USA.

“Our mission is to characterise the human intestinal epithelial barrier and thereby gain insights into how macromolecular therapeutics may be orally delivered. The biology of the barrier will be explored at the cellular and molecular level.”, said Kim.

The founder and MD of the BioMed X Institute, Dr Christian Tidona, added: “At BioMed X, we achieve our ambitious research goals by recruiting truly outstanding, open-minded scientists from around the world who have very different and complementary expertise. With Dr Frank Bertoncelj and Dr Kim, our BioMed X Institute has been able to engage two exceptionally talented scientists who will enable the development of a new generation of targeted therapies.”

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