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Johnson & Johnson Announces New Grant to Harvard Medical School to Combat Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
New collaboration will help address significant global unmet needs in pediatric drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) treatment and optimize use of existing DR-TB treatments

 

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – September 12, 2014 – As part of its ongoing commitment to global public health, Johnson & Johnson today announced its affiliate Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Janssen) has entered into a novel collaboration with Harvard Medical School to address critical gaps in the global struggle against tuberculosis (TB).  Janssen is providing a grant to the renowned medical school to support a two-year research, policy, and advocacy program to improve access to TB diagnosis and treatment for the world’s most vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) and TB in children.  

According to the latest data from the World Health Organization, an estimated 450,000 people developed DR-TB in 2012, and an estimated 170,000 people died from the disease.1 In addition, the results of a recent study conducted by Harvard Medical School revealed that one million children suffer from TB each year – twice the number previously thought to have TB and three times the number of children that are diagnosed. Researchers estimated that 32,000 of these children suffer from DR-TB each year.2

Johnson & Johnson has a long-standing legacy in, and commitment to, the fight against DR-TB globally. This new collaboration and financial commitment will focus on stepping up the global response to DR-TB in six critical areas:

  1. Leading a group of international, multi-sector partners in developing a scientific strategy that provides a plan for how to end deaths from TB and DR-TB.
     
  2. Expanding the scientific and advocacy network of the Sentinel Project on Pediatric Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis to determine the global need for pediatric treatments and improve the quality of care for children with DR-TB.
     
  3. Mobilizing communities in high-burden countries through digital and social platforms to stimulate grassroots activism for expanded access to treatments and improved policies targeting DR-TB.
     
  4. Informing clinical guidance for DR-TB treatment using novel analytical models and analysis of currently available data to optimize treatment protocols, increase cure rates, and improve clinical trial design.
     
  5. Fostering innovation in the global supply chain of DR-TB drugs to expand access to high-quality second-line TB drugs.
     
  6. Catalyzing the creation of a BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) strategy to fund and implement DR-TB treatment and care delivery by bringing together both BRICS and global policy makers.

“Drug-resistant tuberculosis continues to be a major threat to public health worldwide,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson and Worldwide Chairman of Janssen. “We have a responsibility to work together with others in the TB community to tackle this challenge. We’re very pleased to provide critical support to Harvard Medical School in accelerating the response to this deadly disease. We hope that together, we have the power to ensure that people living with the disease receive the best possible care and treatment they need.”
This collaboration with Harvard was established through the Janssen Global Public Health group, and exemplifies its mission of advancing global health through innovative research and development, sustainable access for medicines, and productive partnerships to improve the health of individuals and communities, including those most affected by DR-TB.

“We are committed to enhancing access to medicines for tuberculosis and other diseases of great unmet need through our partnerships, our research, and the responsible use and distribution of our medicines,” said Adrian Thomas, M.D., Vice President of Global Market Access, Commercial Strategy Operations, and Global Public Health at Janssen. “We believe that our collaboration with Harvard will support significant improvements in the global TB response.”

This collaboration is the latest development in the Company’s efforts to combat TB.  In April 2014, the Company entered into a novel collaboration with the Stichting International Dispensary Association (IDA), a procurement agent for the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility (GDF), to facilitate access to Johnson & Johnson’s new anti-TB medicine, which received accelerated approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and conditional approval from the European Commission, respectively. More than 130 low- and middle-income countries outside of the United States are now able to obtain this new anti-TB medicine through the procurement processes of GDF and its agent, the IDA. 

Complementing its collaboration with Harvard Medical School, in August 2014, Janssen provided a grant to the South African Ministry of Health to support capacity building and systems strengthening in the domain of DR-TB. The grant will work to support the efforts of the South African government to reach the 2015 Millennium Development Goal target of eliminating TB.

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson are dedicated to addressing and solving the most important unmet medical needs of our time, including oncology (e.g., multiple myeloma and prostate cancer), immunology (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis), neuroscience (e.g., schizophrenia, dementia and pain), infectious disease (e.g., HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and tuberculosis), and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes).  Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop sustainable, integrated healthcare solutions by working side-by-side with healthcare stakeholders, based on partnerships of trust and transparency. To learn more, visit www.janssen.com.

About Janssen Global Public Health
The Janssen Global Public Health group complements the groundbreaking science of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson with innovative strategies that improve access to medicines, foster collaborations, and support public health solutions to sustainably advance health care worldwide. Current areas of focus include multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB); human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); elephantiasis and river blindness; intestinal worms; and use of mobile technologies (mHealth) to improve health outcomes.

About Johnson & Johnson
Caring for the world, one person at a time…inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science ‒ bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 128,000 employees at more than 275 Johnson & Johnson operating companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.

[2] The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 24 March 2014. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2814%2960195-1/fulltext

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Media Contacts:
Daniel De Schryver
Phone: +49 (173) 76 89 149 
ddschryv@its.jnj.com