J&J and enGene to Collaborate on IBD

16.10.2015 -

Canada’s enGne, a gene therapy company focused on development of therapeutics using its proprietary “Gene Pill”, and Janssen Biotech, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of US-based Johnson & Johnson, have agreed to jointly develop and commercialize new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Under the agreement, enGene will receive an upfront payment and equity investment through Johnson & Johnson Innovation, along with R&D funding. The gene therapy specialist is also eligible to receive various pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and commercialization success-based milestone payments up to a total of C$441 million, plus tiered royalties on potential net sales of products.

The alliance leverages enGene's proprietary non-viral vector platform for gene delivery to cells lining the intestine and provides Janssen with the option to exclusively license enGene's lead product candidate, EG-12, for gut-localized expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.

The Canadian and US companies will jointly develop EG-12 through to clinical proof of mechanism in patients with IBD. Upon exercise of its option, Janssen will take over further clinical development and commercialization of EG-12 for all indications worldwide. The collaboration also allows Janssen to explore the therapeutic potential of enGene's platform to deliver one additional undisclosed target.