Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation agree deal with Vedanta Biosciences


For microbiome pharmaceutical candidate for possible treatment for inflammatory bowel disease

Janssen Biotech, a business unit of Johnson & Johnson, has licensed a potential treatment for inflammatory bowel disease from Vedanta Biosciences of Boston, MA, US.

Under the terms of the agreement, facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in Boston, Janssen will develop and commercialise Vedanta's microbiome pharmaceutical candidate VE202 in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

In preclinical studies VE202 has demonstrated efficacy in models of autoimmune disease, the company says.

Vedanta will receive an up-front payment in addition to development and commercialisation milestone payments for an IBD indication up to a potential total of US$241m, plus possible extra payments related to commercialisation. Vedanta may continue to explore other disease indications and Janssen and Vedanta may elect to develop and commercialise one or more additional indications, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with terms similar to the IBD indication.

'Janssen pioneered the use of anti-TNF antibodies in IBD, and has other medicines in development in this disease area,' said Michael Elliott, Vice President of Immunology Scientific Innovation, Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

'The new programme from Vedanta will complement these efforts, with potential to further improve disease control and treatment for patients in the future.'

Sign up for your free email newsletter

The in-licensing agreement with Vedanta Biosciences follows an initial investment by Johnson & Johnson Innovation of an undisclosed amount in June 2013.