On July 10th it was announced that MBBP client Harvard University, has entered into an agreement with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Evotec, a German biotechnology company. The deal is an expansion of an existing partnership between Evotec and the Harvard lab of Douglas Melton known as the CureBeta research and development program, created to better identify and develop targets that could cause the regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells in people with diabetes. The collaboration so far has produced several potential targets and a portfolio of small molecules and biologics, with Janssen now stepping in to provide research support as well as expertise in both pharmaceutical development and marketing. Isaac Kohlberg, Harvard’s chief technology development officer, had this to say of the deal:
As the funding and licensing landscape has evolved in the pharmaceutical industry, we have evolved to identify new development strategies for our research assets. This alliance with Janssen Pharmaceuticals represents an important step towards a real solution for the treatment of diabetes.
The partnership agreement consists of an initial payment by Janssen of $8 million shared between Evotec and Harvard, with a possibility of nearly $300 million if an approved diabetes drug results from the deal.