Mestag Therapeutics announces collaboration with Janssen, focused on the discovery of novel fibroblast targets for the treatment of inflammatory disease

Cambridge, UK, 18 May 2021 – Mestag Therapeutics (“Mestag”), a breakthrough inflammatory disease and immuno-oncology company, today announced a target discovery, option and license agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (“Janssen”), one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The agreement, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, will leverage Mestag’s specialist fibroblast sub-population biology platform and state-of-the-art data analytics to identify novel therapeutic targets.

Under the terms of the agreement, Mestag will interrogate fibroblast subpopulations across diseases and their interactions with key aspects of the immune system. The Company grants to Janssen an option to an exclusive license to develop and commercialize therapeutics directed against up to two targets that may arise from the collaboration, in exchange for option fees, milestones, and royalties. Further financial terms were not disclosed. As part of the collaboration, David Lee, MD, PhD, Global Immunology Therapeutic Area Head, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, will join Mestag’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Alongside the collaboration, Mestag will continue to develop the Company’s own inflammatory disease and cancer programs as it progresses its pipeline of first-in-class therapeutics towards the clinic.

“Mestag’s vision is to leverage our unique fibroblast biology platform and state-of-the-art data analytics to enable precision medicine breakthroughs in disease areas with high unmet medical need,” said Susan Hill, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Mestag “We are delighted to validate our approach through this innovative partnership with Janssen and we look forward to working with the Janssen Research & Development, LLC scientists to benefit patients.”

Funded by SV Health Investors and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Mestag’s mission is to develop new medicines for patients by targeting activated fibroblast populations and their role in influencing immune effector cells in disease. Powerful new technologies enable diseased tissues to be analyzed at a single-cell level, and this work has uncovered discrete fibroblast cell sub-populations shared across diseases, acting as “immune sentinels” in perpetuating, and progressing disease. Mestag is building a pipeline of first in class therapeutics to interrupt fibroblast-mediated effects on immune cells in inflammatory disease and immuno-oncology.


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