BOSTON, June 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC today announced a five-year alliance with Boston University, an internationally recognized research university and member of the Association of American Universities, that will help accelerate the vision of creating a world without lung cancer. As part of the alliance, a Johnson & Johnson Innovation Lung Cancer Center at Boston University will be established, allowing close collaboration between Boston University investigators and members of the Lung Cancer Initiative within Johnson & Johnson to work together to develop solutions that prevent, intercept and cure lung cancer. Avrum Spira, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Bioinformatics, Boston University has joined Johnson & Johnson Innovation as Global Head, Lung Cancer Initiative, Johnson & Johnson, and will direct the new center.
"Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and the healthcare burden and costs associated with the disease are substantial," said Bill Hait, M.D., Ph.D. Global Head, External Innovation, Johnson & Johnson. "We recently formed a cross-sector lung cancer initiative dedicated to transforming the standard of care for this devastating disease. We are excited to be collaborating with Boston University in this important mission and bringing the research and development expertise of our consumer, medical device, and pharmaceutical groups together to address this critical need for patients around the world."
Lung cancer is the greatest killer of U.S. men and women from cancer and more people die of lung cancer than from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.1 The worldwide incidence remains high and is growing in certain regions and among women.2 In China, for example, 730,000 new cases of lung cancer were reported in 2015 and the disease incidence is expected to rise.3 Compounding the problem of high incidence is low survival rates. Lung cancer's five-year survival rate (17.8%) is much lower than that of other common cancers.4
"To address the major clinical needs of this disease, as well as its economic impact, a new approach is needed," said Avrum Spira, M.D. "Building solutions that prevent and intercept disease requires very close collaboration between academic researchers and industry. We need better and more rapid alignment of discovery with clinical application and development experience to bring forward important new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. The alliance with Boston University and other collaborations around the world will help identify novel technologies and approaches that support this new vision."
The alliance seeks to build upon collaborative programs related to three extensive lung cancer research studies. Two studies, which involve cohorts of military personnel, seek to enable the development, integration and validation of molecular and imaging-based biomarkers to improve lung cancer detection. In the third study, known as the pre-cancer genome atlas (PCGA), investigators are defining the determinants of premalignant disease progression to enable the development of molecularly targeted interception strategies.
It is also envisioned that pilot programs developed by teams from across the Boston University ecosystem will be selected and advanced with close collaboration from Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Through this unique academic - industry alliance, programs focused on the prevention, interception and curing of lung cancer will be supported. It is anticipated that through these efforts, biomarker research that can detect lung cancer at its earliest and potential curable stage will be uncovered.
About Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC
Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC focuses on accelerating all stages of innovation worldwide and forming collaborations between entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson's global healthcare businesses. Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with one-stop access to science and technology experts who can facilitate collaborations across the pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer companies of Johnson & Johnson. Under the Johnson & Johnson Innovation umbrella of businesses, we connect with innovators through our regional Innovation Centers, JLABS, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. and our Business Development teams to create customized deals and novel collaborations that speed development of innovations to solve unmet needs for patients. For more information please visit: www.jnjinnovation.com.
The contract was executed by Johnson & Johnson Services Inc.
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 alliance and product research and 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 Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC 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 inherent in new product research and development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and obtaining regulatory approvals; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; uncertainty of commercial success for new products; the ability of the company to successfully execute strategic plans; impact of business combinations and divestitures; challenges to patents; changes in behavior and spending patterns or financial distress of purchasers of health care products and services; and global health care reforms and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions 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 31, 2017, including under "Item 1A. Risk Factors," its most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including under the caption "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements," 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. Neither Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC or Johnson & Johnson undertake to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.
1 American Cancer Society, Key Statistics for Lung Cancer
2 Nature. Incidence and mortality of lung cancer: global trends and association with socioeconomic status.
3 Reuters. China lung cancer on rise, smog suspected.
4 American Lung Association, Lung Cancer Fact Sheet
SOURCE Johnson & Johnson Innovation