Janssen and Second Genome have entered into a microbiome drug discovery agreement, with the goal to advance novel drug targets for treatment of ulcerative colitis.
The agreement is focused on therapeutic mechanisms in ulcerative colitis mediated by the bacterial ecosystem living within the human gut, referred to as the microbiome. Second Genome will apply its microbiome modulation discovery platform to characterize the role of bacterial populations in ulcerative colitis.
“Foundational microbiome research over the past several years has demonstrated that alterations to the microbiome are central to the development of inflammation and metabolic disorders. The role of the microbiome in health and disease has arrived as a significant area of focus in pharmaceutical R&D. This collaboration with Janssen will identify mechanisms by which microbial populations in the gut have an impact in ulcerative colitis.”
Peter DiLaura, President and CEO at Second Genome.
“A breakdown in the normal relationship between the human immune system and the bacterial communities that reside in the gut appears to play an important role in development of the hallmark chronic inflammation of ulcerative colitis. Second Genome has a powerful platform to mine the microbiome for potential targets which have the potential to translate into effective therapeutics that dramatically impact patient health.”
Dr. Susan Lynch, scientific advisor to Second Genome and Director of the Colitis and Crohn’s Disease Microbiome Research Core and Associate Professor, Gastroenterology at University of California, San Francisco.
Under terms of the agreement, Second Genome will receive an upfront payment, followed by potential milestone payments, funded through the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center and the Immunology Therapeutic Area within Janssen Research & Development, LLC.