- Johnson & Johnson is developing Vedanta's IBD drug, VE202, a drug that leverages the power of the microbiome -- the population of microbes, including the bacteria in the gut --- that inhabit our bodies.
- VE202 was developed in a lab at the University of Tokyo, where researchers were able to demonstrate the link between the bacteria in the gut and immune system response.
- The total value of the deal, including the upfront and milestone fees, could surpass $241 million.
Many health enthusiasts have embraced the power of the microbiome through their use of yoga or probiotics, while surgeons have made headlines by giving patients with intractable gastrointestinal diseases fecal transplants. Clearly, there is something behind this science, which hinges on the idea that a large part of good health is mediated through gut bacteria and other microbiota in the body. Interim chief executive, David Steinberg, told Pharma Times that "the microbiome represents one of the great frontiers of human health."
J&J is not alone in its quest to leverage the microbiome for the purpose of creating immune-bolstering therapies. Last week, Nestle Health Science invested $65 million in Series Health, which also focuses on microbiome therapeutics.