The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) together with Novera Therapeutics Inc., have announced a collaboration with Janssen Biotech, LLC, a Pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson, to accelerate the development of small molecule drug candidates for haematological cancers.
Novera will discover and develop novel therapeutic compounds identified through OICR’s drug discovery program in partnership with University Health Network’s (UHN) enabling technology and disease area biology, and coordinate the collaboration with Janssen under a collaboration, license option, and exclusive license agreement.
Under the agreement, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Novera will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive various pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and commercialization success-based milestone payments up to a total of approximately $450 million Cdn, plus tiered royalties on potential net sales of products. Janssen has been granted an exclusive option to license, for all human uses worldwide, candidate drug(s) that have been identified and will be advanced through the collaboration. Janssen will assume responsibility for subsequent pre-clinical, clinical and commercial development once it exercises its option.
As a translational research institute OICR identifies, funds and supports oncology innovations with a goal of improving clinical practice. Leveraging the extensive and renowned research community within Ontario, OICR assembles and coordinates the intellectual resources, management and expertise needed to drive anti-cancer discoveries from bench to bedside. Novera was established by FACIT, OICR’s commercialization partner, to advance the therapeutics against molecular targets in difficult-to-treat hematological malignancies.
The announced agreement with Janssen is another important example that builds on the translational mandate and vision of OICR, FACIT and Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI).
“Janssen is an excellent partner for this exciting program and we welcome the opportunity to leverage their distinguished development expertise in haematological cancers. Patients in Ontario and worldwide will benefit from this collaborative and innovative model for translational research,” said Tom Hudson, President of OICR.
“We are pleased with the remarkable achievements of OICR, UHN and FACIT and their continued efforts to translate breakthrough research from the lab to the marketplace. An expanded presence of a health industry leader like Janssen in Ontario—combined with our world-class scientific research—is essential for the province to stay at the forefront of innovation for the benefit of patients and our economy,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of MRI.
“As a worldwide leader in developing breakthrough medicines, Janssen is an ideal partner and an excellent fit with our plan to bring the commercial strengths and experience of multinational pharmaceutical companies to support oncology innovations arising in the Province,” remarked Jeff Courtney, FACIT’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Janssen’s commitment to this program is indicative of the calibre of innovation driving OICR’s Drug Discovery initiatives.”