Amyris, Inc. has entered into a research agreement with a commercial license option with Janssen Biotech, Inc., part of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. Under the terms of the agreement, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the collaboration will use Amyris’s µPharmTM platform technology to develop a customized library of natural and natural-like compounds to test against Janssen’s therapeutic target.
Nature has been a great source for therapeutics, ranging from antibiotics to statins that lower cholesterol levels; however, Nature’s potential is often under-utilized due to scarcity or unavailability. Amyris’s µPharm platform technology enables an integrated discovery and production process for therapeutic compounds. It not only provides access to scarce natural compounds, but also creates new diversity based on natural compound scaffolds.
“We’re pleased to add another strong partner to our collaboration portfolio and this agreement is consistent with our overall business model of upfront development investment by a partner and an opportunity for a long term revenue stream following successful commercialization,” said Cynthia Bryant, Amyris Senior Vice President Corporate Development & Collaborations. “This technology opens a new area of compounds that have never been accessible for new drug discovery.”
Over the course of the agreement, Amyris will utilize the µPharm platform technology to develop a library of natural and natural-like compounds and test the efficacy of those compounds in vivo for hits against Janssen’s identified target. This is a different approach than traditional high throughput screening, which typically applies thousands of chemical compounds in in vitro screens to find a drug candidate. Instead, the µPharm platform starts with the target, identifies candidate natural compound structures, and then creates diversity around those structures for in vivo testing. The result can lead to increased speed and enhanced efficiency in identifying hits while accelerating the time to market commercialization.
“We are helping to take some of the guess work out of new drug discovery, which helps our partners, like Janssen, to be able to more quickly understand target interaction and ultimately discover new therapies faster,” explained Joel Cherry, Amyris’s President, Research and Development.
“Janssen has a successful history of identifying and tapping into new innovation through collaborations. They are an ideal partner for Amyris to demonstrate the benefits of our µPharm platform technology while improving the health of everyone in the world,” stated Bryant.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery