News Feature | June 26, 2014

J&J Enters Cancer Research Partnership With Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

By Estel Grace Masangkay

cancer partnership

Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Janssen Biotech recently announced a three year immuno-oncology lung cancer collaboration with the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute’s Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science.

The collaboration will center on identifying the clinical setting for certain immuno-oncology agents in Janssen’s lung cancer drug discovery pipeline. The research teams will use Belfer Institute’s proprietary immuno-oncology lung platform and lung cancer disease expertise to determine rational immuno-oncology drug combination strategies and biomarkers, as well as the mechanisms of disease resistance. Researchers aim to find novel targets for lung cancers.

Robert G. Urban, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation in Boston, said, “There is a growing recognition of the potential importance of immuno-oncology agents directed at a variety of cancers. Through our collaboration with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we will be able to increase the probability of success and decrease development times for our important immuno-oncology pipeline in the critical area of lung cancer.”

J&J said the partnership’s ultimate goal is use immune-oncology therapies to develop personalized cancer treatment. Immuno-oncology therapies aim to fight cancer by using the  body’s own immune system, potentially enabling treatment to last longer and could help limit side effects common with cancer drugs.

Peter Lebowitz, Janssen Global Therapeutic area head of oncology, said, “We are thrilled to be working with the scientists at the Belfer Institute. Their excellence in lung cancer translational research, which incorporates both tumor genetics and immunotherapy, will be critical to the development of personalized treatment options for patients in need.”

Earlier this month, the company announced early-stage collaborations in research and development facilitated by its Boston, California, and London innovation center partners. The alliance will focus on researching cutting-edge technology, such as 3-D printing for orthopedic trauma, manufacturing new brown fat for metabolic diseases, and gaining new insights in lymphoma, prostate cancer, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and insomnia.