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Xconomist of the Week: John Reed on Sanford-Burnham’s Drug Pipeline

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they move it to the clinic. Then it’s pretty much in their hands.

Others are more thematic partnerships. For example, the one we have now with Johnson & Johnson in neuroscience, where J&J has a right of first refusal in the areas of Alzheimer’s and neuro-psychiatric diseases. They are funding an initiative where we bring a number of drug discovery opportunities to them every year. They then fund for us to go through the screening and to generate chemical leads and move them to a proof of concept stage, and they then have the option to license those and move them forward either independently or in a collaborative effort with us. And in that context, we are doing multiple projects with them every year in neuro-psychiatric diseases and neuroscience.

X: Are you working with anybody besides J&J?

JR: Well we have a partnership with Takeda in obesity, and we’re joining the Pfizer Centers for Therapeutic Innovation. They have a number of institutions that are eligible to nominate project opportunities. So we’ve got a project that’s being launched now in the area of inflammation and auto-immunity.

That’s probably the main thrust of our commercialization effort. The opportunities around candidate therapeutics really are probably the biggest one.

We have efforts in protein therapeutics as well. Those tend to bubble up in a more spontaneous way out of the laboratories, which then create additional licensing opportunities. We actually have, believe it or not, eight protein or peptide-based drugs in clinical development right now in the hands of different partners. Another 20 protein drugs are in various stages, from concept through proof of concept in animals. That has just bubbled up out of the laboratories without a master plan created around it. So that’s another area that’s ripe for commercialization.

So it’s a great pipeline we’ve developed. It’s one of the things we’ve been very focused on in terms of our strategy.

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