Johnson & Johnson has entered a five-year alliance with Boston University to help fight lung cancer.
Johnson & Johnson will establish an Innovation Lung cancer Center on the university’s campus to facilitate close collaboration between the two entities. According to a statement released by Johnson & Johnson, the goal of the alliance is to “develop solutions that prevent, intercept, and cure lung cancer.”
“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and the healthcare burden and costs associated with the disease are substantial,” says 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.”
More men and women die of lung cancer than from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. 1 The disease has the unfortunate combination of high incidence—one that continues to grow in certain regions—and low survival rates. At 17.8 percent, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is much lower than that of other common cancers.2
The collaboration intends to build upon programs already in progress, including two studies that seek to develop, integrate, and validate molecular and imaging-based biomarkers to improve detection, and a third study, known as the pre-cancer genome atlas (PCGM), which aims to define the determinants of premalignant disease progression to improve interception strategies.
Additionally, pilot programs developed at Boston University are expected to be selected for advancement under the alliance.
A partnership between a big name in pharma and an academic institution is somewhat unique, but both Boston University and Johnson & Johnson hope their alliance will encourage similar projects in the future.
1 American Cancer Society, Key Statistics for Lung Cancer
2 American Lung Association, Lung Cancer Fact Sheet
(Source: Johnson & Johnson)