Lab Canada

Neuroscience research the focus of new collaboration

Toronto, ON – Janssen Inc. has signed an agreement – facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation centre in California – with the University of Toronto’s Centre 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, is an innovative collaboration between industry, academia and the research community. Its goal is to help identify medical and scientific opportunities in early-stage development, which can progress to clinical treatment for brain disorders.

“Collaborating with the University of Toronto to advance the study of mood disorders and Alzheimer’s disease demonstrates Janssen’s ongoing commitment to investing in early-stage research and meeting unmet patient needs,” said Paul Kershaw, M.D., F.A.A.N., vice president, medical affairs, Janssen Canada. “This agreement supports medical research and development in Canada, which is fundamental to the sustainability of our healthcare system.”

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 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

“We are delighted to collaborate with the University of Toronto on the Neuroscience Catalyst program which deepens our commitment to the translation of exciting new concepts in the field of Neuroscience drug discovery research,” said Husseini K. Manji, M.D., FRCPC, global therapeutic area head, neuroscience, Janssen R&D, LLC. “Working with some of the world’s best neuroscience researchers based in Canada, this collaboration with will further our understanding of mood disorders such as depression as well as Alzheimer’s disease.”

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 will also 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.