Cilag GmbH International, an associate of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced that it has bought a privately-owned, biopharmaceutical firm, Covagen AG, that specializes in the development of multispecific protein therapeutics through the FynomAb technology platform. The prospect was identified and eased through the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in London.
The firm's lead product, COVA 322, a bispecific anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha/anti-interleukin (IL)-17A FynomAb, is in Phase 1b study for psoriasis and holds prospects as a treatment for a vast range of inflammatory diseases which includes rheumatoid arthritis.
Covagen creates multi-specific protein therapeutics, FynomAbs, by fusing its 100% human Fynomer binding proteins to antibodies.
Small binding proteins, Fynomers, are designed to bind to target molecules with the same affinity and specificity as antibodies.
The customized architecture and novel mode of action of FynomAb therapeutics may provide improved efficiency in the treatment of a broad range of inflammatory diseases and other conditions.
Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.
Susan Dillon, global therapeutic area head, immunology, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, stated : "Our goal is to translate advancements in immunology science into next-generation therapies that improve patient outcomes. Our interest in Covagen stems from the company's scientific acumen, their novel FynomAb platform, and the potential of COVA 322, a bispecific designed to achieve better control of inflammation by blocking two key cytokines that have been implicated in disease pathogenesis and progression. We look forward to progressing COVA 322 development, and to further expanding the potential of multispecific biologics for immunologic and other diseases. This exciting opportunity underscores the value of co-locating scientific innovation leads at our regional hubs in thriving life science communities as part of our strategy to identify and realize new opportunities and build long-term competitive advantage."