Anti-inflammatory biotech Aldeyra teams up with Janssen

Aldeyra and Janssen will develop novel drugs that sequester pro-inflammatory aldehyde mediators. (Image: Gerd Altmann)

Aldeyra Therapeutics and Janssen inked a pact to develop new drugs for autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases. For a limited time, Janssen has the option to license any compounds developed under the deal.

Aldeyra is targeting aldehydes—which can activate certain pro-inflammatory factors—to fight inflammation. Its lead compound, reproxalap, is a small-molecule trap designed to lower free aldehyde levels that’s in the clinic for dry eye disease, allergic conjunctivitis, uveitis and Sjögren-Larsson syndrome.

Last June, reproxalap missed its primary endpoint in a phase 2b trial, failing to sufficiently improve eye itching over placebo in patients with allergic conjunctivitis. And in September, the Lexington, Massachusetts-based biotech turned up a mixed bag of results for a phase 2a trial in dry eye disease.

But Aldeyra has been keeping positive, saying in June it was already looking beyond its upcoming end of phase 2 meeting with the FDA to a late-stage study.

The Janssen collab comes at a good time—the pair will work on novel drugs that sequester pro-inflammatory aldehyde mediators, according to a statement. Specifically, the agreement is geared toward advancing Aldeyra’s other aldehyde trap candidates.

"As we are committed to the development of novel therapeutic product candidates for autoimmune and other diseases characterized by systemic inflammation, we are pleased to partner with Janssen, a world leader in the discovery and development of therapeutics for inflammatory diseases," said Aldeyra CEO Todd Brady.