LONDON, Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) announced today that Husseini K. Manji, MD, FRCPC, Global Therapeutic Head for Neuroscience at Janssen Research & Development, LLC, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has been appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of the newly launched, U.K. Government-led global Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF).
As one of the founding collaborators, Johnson & Johnson has invested $10 million in the DDF, which was created to deliver new treatment approaches for dementia by 2025. The DDF, led by the UK Government Department of Health, will work with universities, academic institutions, and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry internationally to identify novel dementia and Alzheimer's research projects.
The DDF will invest more than $100 million of support to therapies through the pre-clinical phase of development, enabling further research in clinical trials. The Fund's priorities are to explore and develop novel hypotheses in dementia research and to increase global interest and confidence in the value of dementia research.
The DDF Scientific Advisory Board includes representatives from each of the Fund's strategic investors and world-leading international academics. Members of the Advisory Board will share expertise, expand the DDF's strategic networks and advise the investment team to further the goal of ultimately treating or curing Alzheimer's disease.
"Alzheimer's disease is one of the world's most critical public health problems," said Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. "We are proud that Dr. Manji, one of the world's leading neuroscientists, will help drive efforts to beat this terrible disease. Working together with industry, government, and other partners, we will advance brain research, leading to innovative, disease-modifying treatments for patients with dementia. We are bringing together diverse thinking and different approaches to the fight for new treatments or a cure for Alzheimer's disease."
Dr. Manji previously served as Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology & Experimental Therapeutics, U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and director of the NIH Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, the largest program of its kind in the world. He is also a visiting professor at Duke University. Dr. Manji is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM), and served as Chair, IOM Interest Group on Neuroscience, Behavior and Brain Function.
The major focus of Dr. Manji's research has been the investigation of disease- and treatment-induced changes in gene and protein networks that regulate synaptic and neural plasticity in neuropsychiatric disorders. His work has helped to conceptualize these illnesses as genetically-influenced disorders of synaptic and neural plasticity, and has led to the investigation of novel therapeutics for refractory patients.
Johnson & Johnson's investment in the DDF was made through its affiliate venture arm, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc. Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies have a strong tradition of investment in innovative science and collaborations in Alzheimer's disease. Janssen has a comprehensive Alzheimer's disease research and development program, focused on slowing and preventing disease progression. Janssen researchers are studying hallmarks of the illness – amyloid plaques, tau tangles and loss of nerve cell connections in the brain, all of which can lead to Alzheimer's dementia. Their research projects include small molecule treatments, antibodies and therapeutic vaccines. Janssen also has many current scientific collaborations in this area.
Approximately 46 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, a progressive condition that slowly robs people of their ability to think and function. The number is expected to increase to 130 million by 2050. Dementia is caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia can be overwhelming for people who have it and for their caregivers and families. A lack of awareness and understanding of dementia results in stigma, barriers to diagnosis and care, and negative physical, psychological, and economic effects.
About Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At Janssen, we are dedicated to addressing some of the most important unmet medical needs in neuroscience, oncology, immunology, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world. Please visit http://www.janssen.com/ for more information.
About Johnson & Johnson
Caring for the world, one person at a time, inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson embraces research and science – bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 126,500 employees at more than 265 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people throughout the world every day. Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc. is the venture capital subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It is comprised of experts and leaders in the health care and technology venture communities who identify early market indicators, health care trends, and strategic investment opportunities.
Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 related to a new collaboration and product development. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the potential that the expected benefits and opportunities related to the collaboration may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected; challenges and uncertainties inherent in new product development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and obtaining regulatory approvals; and global health care reforms and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 28, 2014, including in Exhibit 99 thereto, and the company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Johnson & Johnson do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.
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SOURCE Johnson & Johnson