A research group, a biotech company, and a national French institute will band together to try and develop treatments for patients with Crohn’s disease.
Enterome Bioscience SA, a company that develops novel drugs and diagnostics to support personalized therapies in microbiome-related diseases, recently announced the cooperative research contract with Janssen Biotech Inc., a subsidiary of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA).
The contract, eased by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, is directed at the discovery of new gut microbiome targets and bioactive molecules to help people with Crohn’s.
By combining its own proprietary metagenomics instruments and screening systems, Enterome has detected bacterial strains, genes and products with immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. The goal of the alliance is to advance the characterization and therapeutic validation of these bacterial products, and to increase knowledge on the regulation of gut homeostasis and immunity, which may lead to the development of therapeutics for Crohn’s.
Under the terms of the agreement, Enterome will receive from Janssen an upfront payment and funding for research and development. Janssen has the option of receiving an exclusive license for the development and commercialization of potential therapeutic solutions that may result from the alliance. The Janssen Human Microbiome Institute will also be involved to accelerate the translation of microbiome research targets into therapeutic solutions.
The alliance between the companies was grounded on preliminary data by INRA indicating that some commensal, or symbiotic, bacteria elicit anti-inflammatory effects in the human gut.
Pierre Belichard, CEO of Enterome, said in a press release, “Enterome is proud of its leading position in discovering and developing microbiome-derived therapeutics for Crohn’s disease, and we look forward to advancing through collaborations that continue to reflect positively on our strong recognition from the pharmaceutical industry.”
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. It can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue. Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating, and can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. Therapies can help reduce the disease’s signs and symptoms and provide long-term remission.