October 23, 2015

The Human Vaccines Project welcomes Crucell Holland B.V., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), as the newest industry partner in its effort to accelerate the research and development of vaccines and immunotherapies for infectious diseases and cancer.

Incubated at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the Human Vaccines Project is an ambitious new public-private partnership seeking to transform the future of global disease prevention and treatment by solving the primary scientific obstacles impeding the research and development of new vaccines and immunotherapies. Endorsed by 35 leading vaccine scientists, the Project brings together top academic research centers, and government, non-profit and industry research and development efforts into a global consortium.

“The Human Vaccines Project offers an unprecedented opportunity to merge cutting-edge academic science with industrial product development capabilities to elucidate how the human immune system confers effective immunity, and thus accelerate the development of new interventions for a broad range of critical diseases,” said Johan van Hoof, Global Head, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines, Janssen. “Collaborative partnerships such as this, which bring together key expertise to solve complex scientific problems, are essential to deliver the transformational medical innovations needed to advance human health.”

The Project’s mission is to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major global infectious diseases and cancers by decoding the human immune system. Its Human Immunome program is an ambitious seven-to-10-year effort to sequence the adaptive components of the immune system across diverse populations to provide an indispensable “parts list” allowing for the design of highly targeted new vaccines/therapies. Its Rules of Immunogenicity program focuses on conducting large numbers of small, iterative human clinical research trials to probe the immune system to systematically solve the key problems impeding vaccine/immunotherapy development. Together, these programs aim to dramatically transform the nature of vaccine and immunotherapy development, and thus disease prevention and treatment.

Janssen joins a growing list of companies, including GSK and MedImmune, which provide financial and advisory support to the Project’s scientific program. Janssen’s support will help launch the global consortium and initial pilot studies in 2016. 

“The participation and commitment of leading companies such as Janssen greatly enhances the Project’s potential to advance a new generation of vaccines and immunotherapies and to usher in a new era of global disease prevention,” said Wayne C. Koff, IAVI Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of the Human Vaccines Project.

“The Human Vaccines Project is driven by the rapid pace of recent technological advances in genomics, bioinformatics and systems biology, which have made it possible to comprehensively probe the human immune system, offering new and innovative tools for accelerating vaccine and immunotherapeutic development for very challenging diseases such as HIV, TB, malaria and cancers,” said Stanley Plotkin, Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania and Chairman of the Human Vaccines Project Steering Committee.


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