Janssen Launching Phase 1 Trial Testing VE202 for Potential IBD Treatment

Janssen Launching Phase 1 Trial Testing VE202 for Potential IBD Treatment
Janssen Biotech will conduct a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers to test VE202, an investigational oral treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Vedanta Biosciences has announced. In 2015, Janssen bought the rights from Vedanta for VE202, an oral live biotherapeutic product (a treatment consisting of living microorganisms) that contains a curated mix of bacteria usually present in healthy individuals. The launch of the study comes with a payment of $12 million from Janssen — a Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company — in milestone payments to Vedanta as part of the companies' ongoing collaboration. “To our knowledge, VE202 is the first drug candidate based on a rationally-defined bacterial consortium to enter the clinic for an autoimmune disease. We are pleased to collaborate with Janssen’s team, which has produced several important drugs for people living with IBD,” Bernat Olle, CEO of Vedanta Biosciences, said in a press release. IBD is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the intestine, causing inflammation. The specific factors underlying the disease are not fully understood. However, it is known that the microbiota — the community of gut microorganisms — of IBD patients is different from that of healthy individuals. "Current treatments effectively block mediators of inflammation, but they do not address the underlying alterations in the gut microbiota that may be driving the inflammation in the first place, leaving a need for safe approaches that address this aspect of the disease," Olle said. Fecal microbiota transplants (FMT), in which fecal material from healthy donors is placed into IBD patients, are an alternative treatment to restore the microbiota balance, but more studies are ne
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