Johnson & Johnson joins Enlight Biosciences in US$52 million in
novel drug discovery initiative
31 January 2009
Enlight Biosciences LLC, a Boston-based company conceived in
partnership with major pharmaceutical companies and academic luminaries,
announced today that Johnson & Johnson has joined the initiative.
As a partner, Johnson & Johnson will have the opportunity to invest
in the development of strategic technologies that have the potential to
fundamentally transform drug discovery and development and to apply
these pre-competitive technologies to its therapeutic programs.
With the participation of Johnson & Johnson, Enlight and its partners
are now poised to direct a combined total of up to $52M toward these
"The Enlight collaboration will benefit from the expansive scope of
science and commercial expertise from Johnson & Johnson, as well as from
the company's commitment to an open innovation model of supporting
universities and medical centers," ssid Dr Frank Douglas, Enlight Board
Member, PureTech Ventures Senior Partner and former Chief Scientific
Officer and Executive Vice President of Aventis.
Enlight proactively addresses critical unmet industry needs with
innovations drawn from academic laboratories, startups, and ideas
generated internally by the Enlight team.
Enlight is focused on areas that include molecular imaging,
biologics, and drug formulation and delivery methods, as well as novel
synthesis and production technologies and library screening. Enlight
evaluates hundreds of technology opportunities per year, selecting only
the top one or two to become actively managed programs.
Garry A Neil MD, Corporate Vice President, Johnson & Johnson
Corporate Office of Science and Technology, said, "Participation in this
initiative will allow us to work with our consortium peers to identify
technology needs and influence future industry standards. Our membership
aligns with our interest in early-stage discovery platforms, enables us
to review promising technologies according to our specifications prior
to full development, and supports our commitment to academic research
Enlight's launch was announced in July 2008 by
PureTech Ventures, a venture creation firm translating research from
top-tier academic institutions into therapies, along with existing
Enlight partners Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Eli Lilly. Enlight's
scientific advisory board is led by Nobel Laureate Dr Robert Horvitz,
Koch Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Johnson & Johnson will collaborate with the Enlight team and the
other pharmaceutical partners to guide Enlight's focus areas and
strategic directions, prioritize desired technologies and select active
Participation in the Enlight venture will enable the research units
of the pharmaceutical companies within the Johnson & Johnson Family of
Companies to review a large number of innovative technologies, platforms
and tools and to shape the types and focus of such promising research
through collaboration with the other partner companies. Johnson &
Johnson, like the other partners, will have preferential access to
technologies developed by new companies it opts to fund.
"Participation in this collaboration will also enable our research
units to make pre-competitive knowledge available across the industry,"
said Dr Roger Pomerantz, President, Tibotec Research and Development,
and Senior Vice President, Global Virology, Johnson & Johnson. "We are
excited about this opportunity to contribute to increasing the standard
of medical care, particularly in our focus areas of oncology,
cardiovascular and inflammation."
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