Monash and Janssen Biotech collaborate on rheumatoid arthritis prevention

Tuesday, 06 June, 2017

Monash University has signed a multiyear research and commercialisation deal with Janssen Biotech, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, for the early detection and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis.

The agreement was announced yesterday by Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis, together with Monash University Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO, representatives from Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Janssen, and researchers from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI).

Professor John Carroll, director of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, said the collaboration is the result of an existing three-year partnership with Janssen. It will enable Monash-based researchers led by Professor Jamie Rossjohn to continue their investigations into the impact of therapeutics on immune systems affected by rheumatoid arthritis — one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the world.

“This collaboration is a great opportunity to take our advances in basic biomedical science and translate them to the market for the betterment of the Australian population and worldwide,” Professor Rossjohn said.

Professor Gardner added that the partnership between the Monash BDI and Janssen demonstrates the potential for world-class research excellence and industry expertise to deliver health and economic benefits on a global scale.

“With nearly 25 million people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis worldwide, the agreement has the potential to deliver significant benefit to community, industry and research,” she said.

The partnership represents the second agreement Johnson & Johnson Innovation has entered into with an Australian public university in the past year, having opened a research facility at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2016.

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