Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) has added another company to its ever-growing network of third-party drug discovery allies. The latest deal sees J&J subsidiary Janssen Biotech follow GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Merck ($MRK), Novartis ($NVS) and others by hooking up with Nuevolution to get a look at its drug discovery platform.
Janssen has picked out drug targets against oncological, infectious and inflammatory diseases and tasked Nuevolution with using its Chemetics platform for the discovery and advancement of relevant assets. In return, Copenhagen, Denmark-based Nuevolution is pocketing an undisclosed upfront payment, a source of research funding and potential milestones. If a drug from the collaboration makes it all the way to market, Nuevolution would land royalty payments, too. "We are looking forward to an excellent working relationship," Nuevolution CEO Alex Gouliaev said in a statement.
Nuevolution has already had some success in its other alliances. Last year, Merck licensed a drug and Novartis deepened its ties to the company. A who's who of Big Pharma have been attracted by the potential of Nuevolution's drug discovery platform, which performs fragment-based research using a combination of wet chemistry and molecular biology. Nuevolution claims the platform's ability to support the DNA-encoded synthesis, screening and optimization of billions of small molecules means it can dig out possible assets with greater speed and thoroughness than other systems.
A layer of informatics is in place to make sense of the data. Informatics has been central to the operation of Nuevolution since it was founded in 2000. Mads Nørregaard-Madsen, a co-founder of the company who now serves as chief innovation and information officer, has held responsibility for the informatics side of Chemetics throughout its history.
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