TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Janssen Pharmaceutical joins Human Vaccines Project

Crucell Holland BV, part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has joined the Human Vaccines Project.

“The Human Vaccines Project is a new, large scale, global public-private partnership with the mission to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major global infectious diseases and cancers by decoding the human immune system," Theodore Schenkelberg, with the Human Vaccines Project, told Vaccine News Daily. Its goal is to speed up research and development of immunotherapies and vaccines that are made to protect from cancer and infectious diseases.

The project has been endorsed by 35 of the world’s leading vaccine researchers as potentially “transformative” for human health, and brings together some of the world’s leading research universities, nonprofits, companies and governments to execute a 10-year, milestone-driven scientific plan. A world-class network of scientific hubs located at top academic research centers globally will carry out research.”

It was recently announced that Vanderbilt University would be the first scientific hub.

The future of the project has a lot of expected potential, Schenkelberg said, “Over the long term the project seeks to transform and accelerate vaccine and immunotherapy development by solving the scientific barriers impending the development of products for major and emerging infectious diseases and cancers. The project is putting together a decade long, technology driven big science effort to solve these problems by 'decoding' the human immune system. Recent breakthroughs in genomics, bioinformatics, systems biology and other disciplines now allow an understanding of the human immune response that was not possible even five years ago, and the project seeks to harness such technologies to transform our approach to vaccine and immunotherapy development." 

Seeking to decode the human immune system, the project’s strategic plan is organized around two primary areas: 1) The Human Immunome Program which is an ambitious seven- to 10-year effort to sequence the adaptive components of the immune system across diverse populations to provide an indispensable “parts list” allowing for the design of highly targeted and safer vaccines/therapies; and 2) The Rules of Immunogenicity Program, which is focused on conducting large numbers of small, iterative human clinical research trials to probe the immune system to systematically solve the key problems impeding vaccine/immunotherapy development.

Schenkelberg said Janssen, being one of the leading companies in the world for immunology vaccines and oncology, will bring an industrial perspective to a basic research effort and enable the project to rapidly translate scientific breakthroughs to viable products.

Organizations in this story

Johnson & Johnson Company New Brunswick, NJ 08933

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