Nextera, a Norwegian biotechnology company focused on developing novel and highly disease-specific immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases, cancer and chronic infections announces today that it has entered into a research agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in London facilitated the research agreement.
Under terms of the agreement, Nextera will, with use of its unique technology platform, undertake certain verification studies to determine the applicability of Nexteras technology platform within rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Janssen will fund the research program, and will have an option for an exclusive worldwide license to the Nextera technology platform within RA.
“This research agreement represents Nextera´s first collaboration with a global biopharmaceutical company. We believe that our unique technology platform can offer great benefits in the development of new and improved treatment modalities for patients with autoimmune diseases, cancer and chronic infections. Thus, we are very enthusiastic for the collaboration with Janssen, a world leader in innovative drug development, and the opportunity we now have within rheumatoid arthritis,” said Thomas Andersen, CEO of Nextera.
Nextera is a privately owned Norwegian biotech company. Our approach is to manipulate the disease at the initiation of the escalating immune cascade by identifying and subsequently targeting the principal causative agent. The core technology of the company is our phage display engine, which we apply in protein engineering and evolution of T cell receptors and MHC class II molecules. The technology is developed by Nexteras CSO, Dr. Geir Åge Løset who co-founded the company as a spin out from his work at the group of Professor Inger Sandlie and the Centre for Immune Regulation, University of Oslo. The main shareholders of Nextera are The Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation and Birk Venture AS.