Academia-industry alliance towards autoimmune disease

Academia-industry alliance towards autoimmune disease

Monash University announced today that it has signed a research collaboration agreement with Janssen-Cilag Pty Ltd. (Janssen), one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson.

The collaboration, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Asia Pacific, will focus on ground-breaking research at Monash University to develop potential new medicines to treat autoimmune diseases and disorders.

The ability of the immune system to discriminate between self and non-self-tissues is a crucial aspect of its function. The failure of some immune cells to appropriately manage this discrimination can result in autoimmunity, which affects millions of people worldwide with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and others.

While there are medications on the market that can be used to treat some of these autoimmune diseases, there remains a substantial need for the development of new and improved treatments.

Funding from Janssen will enable Monash University and Janssen immunology scientists to collaboratively research the mechanisms that underlie autoimmune diseases for the development of new and highly innovative potential treatments.

Professor Jamie Rossjohn, from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, will lead the research team at Monash University on the three-year research program.

"By understanding the molecular basis for the trigger that causes autoimmune diseases we can uncover opportunities for novel immunotherapeutics," said Professor Rossjohn.

"Monash University offers us and our partners the world class research facilities, technology, expertise and materials that are all necessary to conduct this level of research. We are excited about the innovative therapeutic solutions that can be developed here at Monash when working with a collaborator like Janssen," he said.