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.