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The University of Oxford has entered into a strategic collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Close up of hand pipetting in lab © Medical Sciences Division and John Cairns

Through the collaboration, Oxford academics, including Kennedy Investigators Profs. Fiona Powrie and Christopher Buckley, and Dr Brian Marsden, will work with Janssen scientists to develop a cellular map of genes and proteins implicated across a range of immune-mediated inflammatory disorders and characterise pharmacologically relevant therapeutic targets. The agreement was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Lead Oxford investigator for the project, Professor Holm Uhlig (Nuffield Department of Medicine) said, “This exciting endeavour brings together a world leading group of Janssen and Oxford scientists to form the Cartography collaboration. This project aims to create a detailed cellular map across multiple immune disorders which has the potential to advance the understanding of disease mechanisms, how to treat the right patients with the right medications, and the development of new therapies.”

Speaking of the partnership, Professor Fiona Powrie said, “The Oxford/Janssen collaboration is an extremely exciting initiative. It offers a unique opportunity to define the cellular basis of disease, to identify shared and unique processes across different inflammatory diseases informing the development of personalised medicine approaches.”

Immune mediated inflammatory disorders affect a large proportion of the population. Genetic association studies, functional studies, and clinical observations suggest that there is substantial overlap between immune mediated inflammatory disorders affecting different organ systems, but the cellular mechanisms are largely unknown.

This 3-year data-driven study, will apply the latest molecular and cellular multiomics analysis platforms, and computational methods to deliver insights for target selection and precision medicine for inflammatory disease indications of the intestine, the joint and the skin where existing options for therapeutic intervention are limited. The collaboration will create four new postdoctoral positions at the University of Oxford. 

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