New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson announced the acquisition of TARIS Biomedical LLC (TARIS), a privately owned biotechnology company specializing in the development of a novel drug delivery technology for the treatment of bladder diseases including cancer. The company’s lead clinical-stage product, TAR-200, uses the proprietary TARIS System, which features a silicone-based drug delivery device that allows for the continuous release of medication into the bladder. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
“The TARIS technology provides a first-in-class clinical stage platform to evaluate novel, locally-delivered therapeutics for patients with localized bladder cancer,” said Peter Lebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., global yherapeutic area head, Oncology, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “Together with the TARIS team, we look forward to advancing complete regimens to push towards early interception of bladder cancer with the goal of improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, delivering cures.”
Localized bladder cancer is a global unmet need as reflected by high morbidity and limited improvements in treatment over the past two decades. Globally, bladder cancer is the sixth most commonly occurring cancer in men and the 17th most commonly occurring cancer in women.1 There were almost 550,000 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed worldwide in 2018.1 The majority of bladder cancers are diagnosed in the early stages with approximately 70 to 75 percent as non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and 25 to 30 percent as muscle invasive bladder cancer.2,3 Progression of the disease is a devastating life-changing event that can result in removal of the bladder in patients fit for surgery.4 Following surgery, and for a large proportion of patients who are unfit for such a procedure, the cancer often progresses into metastatic disease where the five-year survival rate is approximately five percent.5 Considering the global impact and need for new, targeted therapies, Janssen is building upon its innovative efforts and disease expertise to advance novel, locally-delivered therapeutic approaches with a strategy to intercept bladder cancer.
“The TARIS technology and scientific team create an unparalleled convergence opportunity with real potential to deliver differentiated, targeted therapeutics for the treatment of patients with localized bladder cancer,” said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., global jead, Janssen R&D, Johnson & Johnson. “We are eager to build upon the proof-of-concept data that the TARIS team has generated and advance clinical development of this drug delivery approach for patients who face a bladder cancer diagnosis, and potentially for other types of cancer in the future.”
TARIS will maintain a research presence in Lexington, Massachusetts and become part of Janssen R&D’s Oncology Therapeutic Area. The team will remain focused on the optimization of drug candidates working together with Janssen R&D scientists to advance and deliver future clinical programs applying the TARIS technology, which arose from research conducted at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.
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