The BioMed X Innovation Center (Heidelberg, Germany) announced today a collaboration agreement with Janssen Research & Development, LLC to foster early-stage preclinical biomedical research and development projects. Under the agreement, the BioMed X Innovation Center will accommodate up to five Janssen research projects.
The first research project will focus on rapid identification of auto-antigens in autoimmune diseases. Epidemiological data provide evidence of a steady increase in autoimmune diseases worldwide over the last decades. More than 100 different autoimmune diseases have been identified so far, many of them being chronic and life-threatening. New platform technologies or concepts may lead to identification of antigens recognized by T cells involved in autoimmune responses.
Talented young scientists from the world’s top universities and research institutions are invited to submit innovative project proposals and apply for a research fellowship at the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg. Proposed experimental approaches should include the development and validation of novel antigen screening platforms that can rapidly decode the specificities of autoreactive T cells from patient samples. Ideally, the identified T cell epitopes should link back to relevant tissue-specific proteins that are targeted in disease. Screening approaches may incorporate a combination of in vitro, in vivo and in silico (bioinformatics) methods. As part of the project, the novel approach should be validated in a disease context of organ-specific autoimmune diseases, including but not limited to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), type 1 diabetes (T1D), multiple sclerosis (MS), or psoriasis.
“We are very pleased to extend our portfolio of partners with Janssen, an innovative global biopharmaceutical company”, said Christian Tidona, founder and Managing Director of BioMed X. “The new project in the field of autoimmune diseases will benefit from cross-fertilization with our existing expertise and add new capabilities in the field of immunology.”