Janssen, Vedanta Biosciences Sign Drug Pact

Vedanta Biosciences, a microbiome company, has signed a license agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, for Vedanta’s lead microbiome pharmaceutical candidate (VE202), which has demonstrated efficacy in published preclinical studies using models of autoimmune disease. The development of the lead pharmaceutical candidate originated from work conducted initially at the University of Tokyo, and published in Nature and Science, by Dr. Kenya Honda, who showed that specific gut-dwelling bacteria control key immune cells that combat autoimmune diseases.

Under terms of the agreement, which was facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in Boston, Janssen will develop and seek to commercialize the pharmaceutical candidate in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Vedanta will receive an up-front payment and is eligible to receive development and commercialization milestone payments for an IBD indication up to a potential total of $241 million, plus possible additional consideration related to commercialization. Vedanta may continue to explore other disease indications and Janssen and Vedanta may elect to develop and commercialize within one or more additional indications with terms similar to the IBD indication.

This agreement follows the initial investment that Johnson & Johnson Innovation made in Vedanta in June 2013.

Vedanta was founded by PureTech and a group of experts in immunology and microbiology including Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov (Professor of Immunobiology at Yale), Dr. Alexander Rudensky (tri-institutional Professor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, the Rockefeller University, and Cornell University), Dr. Dan Littman (Professor of Molecular Immunology at NYU), Dr. Brett Finlay (Professor at the University of British Columbia), and Dr. Kenya Honda (Professor, School of Medicine, Keio University). Vedanta is pioneering development of a class of therapies that modulate pathways of interaction between the human microbiome and the host immune system. PureTech is a science and technology research and development company that is based in Boston and run by a team of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs and is connected to top-tier academic institutions.

Source: Vedanta Biosciences

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