J&J’s Janssen, Morphic Therapeutic Form $725-Million R&D Pact for Integrin Therapies

By Lillian Torres -

February 26, 2019

Morphic Therapeutic, a biotechnology company developing oral integrin therapies, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, has entered into a research and development (R&D) collaboration with Janssen Biotech for over $725 million, if milestones are achieved, to discover and develop integrin therapeutics.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation in Cambridge, Massachusetts facilitated the transaction. The collaboration focuses on several undisclosed integrin targets and will explore both inhibitors and activators of integrin function.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will collaborate through preclinical development to identify and advance candidates. Upon completing Investigational new drug enabling studies, Janssen may exclusively option the licensed compounds, and Janssen will be responsible for global clinical development and commercialization. Janssen will pay Morphic an undisclosed upfront payment and will fund research activities. In addition, Morphic will receive from Janssen multiple preclinical development, clinical and commercial milestone payments totaling over $725 million if such milestones are achieved. Morphic will also receive royalties on worldwide net sales for any products resulting from the collaboration.

Integrins are a ubiquitous family of receptors expressed on the surface of most human cells. Integrins are dimers comprising one α (alpha) subunit and one β (beta) subunit. Integrin signaling controls a wide range of cellular processes, including cell survival, cell cycle progression, immune system activation, cell differentiation, and cell migration, according to information from the company. Aberrant integrin signaling contributes to a diverse array of human diseases, including each of Morphic’s focus areas of fibrosis, autoimmune diseases, and immuno-oncology.

Source: Morphic Therapeutic