J&J hires Selventa to build computerized models for personalized medicine

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Selventa has embarked on a multiyear project to furnish healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Janssen R&D group with disease models, in an effort to understand the mechanisms of immunological diseases and support efforts to discover drugs, the company revealed today. Financial details of the pact weren't disclosed.

Cambridge, MA-based Selventa uses computational methods to analyze loads of molecular data on patients, and its work for Janssen is expected to yield computerized disease models that help researchers understand the drivers of certain illnesses. The project for Janssen builds on the small company's previous work with an affiliate of Janssen that aimed to find genes behind intestinal permeability in patients with ulcerative colitis after anti-TNF treatment, Selventa CEO David de Graaf stated.

Amid efforts to develop personalized medicines for patients based on the specific biology of their disease, computational approaches enable biopharma groups to crunch and analyze large amounts of molecular data. Selventa and rivals such as GNS Healthcare have landed deals with drugmakers that are at least willing to give their computer-driven methods a try.   

"We are very excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with Janssen R&D," de Graaf said in a statement. "Building comprehensive disease models and investigating different molecular mechanisms may provide key data-driven foundations for appropriate selection of druggable mechanisms within a disease."

- here's the release

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