Janssen has signed an agreement, facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation center in California, with the University of Toronto's Center for Collaborative Drug Research (CCDR) to form an open-source collaboration focused on novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment and management of mood disorders and Alzheimer's disease.
The research project, called Neuroscience Catalyst, represents an innovative collaboration between industry, academia and the research community. Neuroscience Catalyst will help identify medical and scientific opportunities in early-stage development, which can progress to clinical treatment for brain disorders.
Participating researchers will have access to cutting-edge drug discovery tools and information, as well as access to Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Janssen R&D resources, thereby facilitating research progress. The University of Toronto will co-fund the research and create a structure for soliciting and evaluating proposals from researchers, including from other academic hospitals and research institutions, as well as the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Representatives from the University of Toronto and Janssen will form a joint steering committee to review research proposals and provide recommendations to the CCDR for external review and approval. The committee also will provide scientific oversight, advice on funded research and will monitor the progress of and review results arising from the research. The first call for proposals will be issued in November.
"As its name suggests, this collaboration will be a catalyst for the discovery of new therapeutics targeted at mental health and neurodegenerative disorders," said professor Ruth Ross, Ph.D., director, Center for Collaborative Drug Research, chair, department of pharmacology and toxicology, University of Toronto and Senior Scientist, Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, CAMH. "Conditions such as dementia and depression affect hundreds of millions worldwide, and that number is rising. By working together in an open innovation partnership, we can conduct the basic research needed to identify new therapeutic options for patients."