Spin-out X01 acquired by Janssen

University of Cambridge spin-out X01 Limited, a privately held asset-centric virtual biopharmaceutical company founded to develop the anti-thrombin antibody ichorcumab, has been acquired by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Janssen), one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Ichorcumab is a recombinant human antibody developed to mimic the activity of a human antibody that appears to produce an anticoagulated state without predisposition to bleeding. The drug was initially developed by Cambridge University Hospitals and Cambridge University with support from Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm.

The technology was licensed by Cambridge Enterprise to X01 Limited in order to take its development towards the clinic. X01 Limited was established by Index Ventures as an asset centric company, a model advanced by Index, via a fund launched in 2012 in which Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. is an investor.

 We are delighted that Janssen Pharmaceuticals will now be investing further in this programme.

 Dr Andrew Walsh

“XO1 has made great progress with Ichorcumab,” said Dr Andrew Walsh, a technology manager at Cambridge Enterprise. “We are delighted that Janssen Pharmaceuticals will now be investing further in this programme.”

Peter DiBattiste, M.D., Global Development Head, Cardiovascular, Janssen Research & Development, LLC said: “Ichorcumab provides an excellent complement to the Janssen cardiovascular portfolio. Given Janssen’s leadership in the fields of anticoagulation and biologics, we are well positioned to explore the potential of this next generation anticoagulant.”

The opportunity was identified and facilitated through Johnson & Johnson Innovation, London. “This acquisition illustrates how our global innovation strategy enables a local, hands-on approach that supports the regional life science ecosystems, provides Janssen a window on the most exciting science around the world and provides access to potentially breakthrough products in areas of strategic interest,” said Patrick Verheyen, Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, London.

Photo credit: Fab fragment of an antibody bound to thrombin by Jim Huntington

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