Janssen, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Partner for Influenza A Drug

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals for the worldwide development, manufacturing, and commercialization of VX-787, a medicine in Phase II development for the treatment of influenza A.

VX-787 is an investigational medicine designed to directly inhibit replication of the influenza A virus, including recent H1 (pandemic) and H5 (avian) influenza strains, based on in-vitro data. The license agreement also grants Janssen rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize VX-787's back-up compound, VX-353, as well as rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize certain other back-up compounds for the prevention and/or treatment of influenza. The agreement is subject to the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Vertex completed a Phase IIA study of VX-787 in 2013. The parties expect additional clinical trials to begin in the coming months. VX-787 is an influenza A-specific, oral polymerase inhibitor, a mode of action (MOA) working through the influenza virus PB2 polymerase subunit. Targeting an alternative part of the viral replication process may help ensure that this new medicine can successfully treat strains of the influenza virus that may be resistant to existing antiviral drugs with other MOAs, according to Janssen.

Source: Janssen Pharmaceuticals

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