J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Evotec form strategic diabetes alliance based on HSCI discoveries

July 11, 2012

A portfolio of small molecules and biologics has been licensed by Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from the laboratory of Harvard Stem Cell Institute Co-Director Doug Melton, co-chair of Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, to the German biotech firm Evotec and international giant Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company, as the central focus of a new program to pursue treatments and cures for diabetes.

“Our collaboration with Doug Melton’s laboratory has been extremely successful on multiple levels,” said Evotec Chief Scientific Officer Cord Dohrmann, who did his post doctoral fellowship in Doug Melton’s Harvard lab, said in the company’s announcement. “We have not only achieved our scientific goals of creating a superior beta cell drug discovery platform and generating a deep pipeline of novel and exciting targets, but we have also established a new model of collaboration between academia and industry that has proven highly effective in accelerating innovative scientific development.”

Dohrmann then noted that the alliance with Janssen provides “world class pharmaceutical development expertise as well as the necessary resources to execute on our mission to produce first-in-class therapeutics designed to restore beta cell mass and function.”

For more information on this exciting new alliance, called CureBeta, please see the J&J website and the Evotec website. Also, you may want to read Evotec’s more detailed description of their program and an interview with Doug Melton.