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The exercising by Janssen Biotech of an option to develop OSE Immunotherapeutics’ Phase II-ready antibody fragment for autoimmune and transplant-associated disorders will give an early boost to the French biotech that only completed a merger several weeks ago.
Janssen licenses a rheumatoid arthritis program from Modern Biosciences that could address the inflammatory and bone-destruction manifestations of the disease, while Japan’s Otsuka buys Avanir on the strength of its neuroscience pipeline. Meanwhile, previously signed Astellas/Janssen and Novartis/Array agreements are terminated.
Janssen gets option to Modern’s small-molecule candidates for rheumatoid arthritis that could address both the inflammatory and bone-damaging effects of the disease. An R&D exec says the compounds could be complementary to, or used in combination with, Remicade and Simponi, or as standalone RA therapies.
UK biotech Modern Biosciences (MBS) has entered into an R&D alliance and global option and license agreement with J&J's Janssen Biotech for its novel bone-protective compounds for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Under the deal, facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in London, MBS will receive an upfront payment and potential milestones of up to £176m and royalties on any future sales of products arising from the alliance.
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