Janssen to assist development of regenerative diabetes drugs

Thu, 12 Jul 2012
Janssen, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, is to help develop a unique range of diabetes medicines designed to regenerate the body's vital insulin-producing cells.

The company has licensed exclusive access to a series of drug candidates, created to help target the cause of diabetes rather than its symptoms by stimulating the regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas .

The candidates were identified by scientists at the Harvard University laboratory of Douglas Melton and further analysed in collaboration with scientists from German biotech Evotec, as part of the CureBeta research and development programme.

Evotec will now receive additional research support for discovery and early development work of the regenerative drugs portfolio, which will be conducted in collaboration with Janssen .

Peter DiBattiste, Global Therapeutic head, Cardiovascular and Metabolism at Janssen, said: "Beta cell survival and function play a critical role in maintaining normal glucose levels and when they are compromised, can contribute to the onset of diabetes.

"This collaboration strengthens our long term diabetes development pipeline and directly reflects our commitment to making a difference for the millions of people worldwide living with this disease ."

Dr Cord Dohrmann, chief scientific officer at Evotec, commented: "Our collaboration with Doug Melton's laboratory has been extremely successful on multiple levels.

"Janssen Pharmaceuticals perfectly complements this effort, bringing in world-leading 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."
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