Janssen Research & Development, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced that it will invest in a novel scientific approach, called disease interception, to find ways to intercept type 1 diabetes using new diagnostic and pre-disease intervention strategies. If successful, this approach has the potential to transform the standard of care in type 1 diabetes.
This new approach to type 1 diabetes is the first in a series of disease areas to be tackled as part of Janssen’s newly announced Disease Interception Accelerator (DIA), an autonomous incubator-like group that seeks to identify the root causes of disease and enable the development of interventions that stop the progression to disease. Janssen scientists will work to develop new diagnostic, therapeutic or combination approaches for type 1 diabetes interception by understanding the role of potential triggers and initiating steps on the pathway to type 1 diabetes.
“Disease interception seeks to address genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers in people at-risk of developing disease so that we may intervene earlier and prevent progression to disease,” said Benjamin Wiegand, Ph.D., Head, Disease Interception Accelerator, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “With type 1 diabetes being the first area of focus, aligning with JDRF is a critically-important step forward to collaboratively advance research that is intensely focused on disease interception. We’re excited to build on the long-standing relationship between the JDRF and the Johnson & Johnson family of diabetes companies as we embark upon this journey.”
Janssen researchers will bring to bear the latest basic research insights together with the JDRF, the leading research and advocacy organization funding type 1 diabetes research, to inform and accelerate targeted and science-based solutions for type 1 diabetes. In addition, with the JDRF’s insights, Janssen will seek to enhance the underlying clinical research network for overall type 1 diabetes which is needed to accelerate basic research and mechanistic-based solutions. With the focus on type 1 diabetes Janssen looks to build upon a more than 30-year commitment the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Solutions Companies maintain in serving the diabetes community.
“We know type 1 diabetes begins before the clinical diagnosis of insulin dependence occurs and we believe there is a way to halt the progress of the disease before the loss of insulin-producing cells due to autoimmunity,” said Joseph Hedrick, Ph.D., Venture Leader, Type 1 Diabetes, Disease Interception Accelerator, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “JDRF, with its scientific network and expertise in diabetes research, is a most appropriate, leading organization to align with for this exciting endeavor to intercept type 1 diabetes.”
Janssen’s pioneering disease interception approach will integrate innovative science, novel therapeutics, precision diagnostics, and new business models to nurture solutions that intercept disease. As the DIA’s first area of focus, type 1 diabetes research will utilize the rapidly emerging science of immune diagnostics and precision intervention to provide the foundation to intercept other diseases that have immunological underpinnings.
In addition to efforts in type 1 diabetes the DIA plans to pursue other disease areas that demonstrate great scientific opportunity, concentrating on diseases with high unmet need, where Janssen has deep expertise and understanding of emerging science, and where there are broader cross-disease applications for scientific learnings going forward.