VANCOUVER, BC & SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Canadian biotech firm Innovative Targeting Solutions (ITS) has entered a research collaboration with Janssen Biotech, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.
Under the agreement, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the two sides will utilize ITS’s proprietary HuTARG™ research platform to discover antibody candidates useful for modulating immune responses in autoimmunity or cancer. The HuTARG™ protein engineering platform is able to engineer both T-cell receptors and fully human antibodies that bind major histocompatibility complex (MHC)/peptide complexes displaying fragments of intracellular proteins of interest.
“Conventional biologic therapies do not target intracellular proteins which make up 60 to 80 per cent of a cells proteome,” said Paul Kang, CSO of Innovative Targeting Solutions Inc. “The ability to target MHC/peptide complexes opens up an important untapped area for targeted therapy. We are very excited to be working with Janssen in this exciting new area which we believe has the potential to transform the industry’s ability to improve human health.”
Details of the collaboration including the specific targets, number of targets, specific therapeutic indications and financial terms have not been disclosed.
In June, ITS announced a research collaboration with Merck, to utilize the HuTARG™ research platform to help identify and develop biologic therapeutic candidates directed towards targets that have historically been a challenge for biologic therapies. ITS also recently partnered with Zymeworks, another Vancouver-based company known for its own string of deals with pharma heavyweights. Other disclosed ITS collaborators include Novartis and Amgen.