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The University of Oxford announced today that it has expanded a strategic collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The agreement was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation

DNA molecule with futuristic medical technology background

Launched in 2021, the Cartography collaboration aims to develop a cellular map of genes and proteins implicated across a range of immune-mediated inflammatory disorders and characterize pharmacologically relevant therapeutic targets.

Acknowledging the broad impact of immune mechanisms, Oxford is now expanding this ground-breaking work with Janssen to encompass diverse disorders prioritized by the highest unmet need, ranging from immune mediated disorders across several organs, cancer and neurodegeneration.

The three-year expansion adds four new areas: Infectious Disease, Vaccines, Oncology and Neuroscience. These areas will utilize the infrastructure established in the original project to address knowledge gaps in an efficient, multi-faceted approach.

The team of Principal Investigators, Fellows and support roles create a large powerful consortium to tackle the research challenges. Working alongside the current four Postdoctoral Fellows, will be an additional four Fellows focussing on specific disease areas as well as supporting the overall bioinformatics aspects of the programme. This represents a unique opportunity for Fellows and PIs to work on an industrially collaborative project involving multiple departments and disease area strongholds at Janssen all contributing to the large body of data and outcomes.

Lead Oxford investigator for the project, Professor Holm Uhlig said,

'The Cartography projects will allow us to understand cellular networks across multiple diseases and organs and they will establish a research ecosystem to collaborate across disciplines with a group of Janssen and Oxford scientists. Our ultimate aim is to understand tissue adaptation and disease mechanisms that allow us to develop treatments faster and based on cellular mechanisms.’

Chas Bountra, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Professor of Translational Medicine said,

‘This has already proved to be an exciting, innovative and impactful collaboration. The team have laid the foundations for accelerating our understanding of human disease pathophysiology at the cellular and molecular level, and offering the potential for discovering new drug targets, establishing new biomarker signatures and creating possibilities for drug repurposing, across a range of inflammatory diseases. I am thrilled this is now being expanded to include other therapeutic areas. My compliments to the team for the progress, and all the leaders for providing the vision and ensuring increased momentum.’