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04-May-2018

Janssen to Acquire BeneVir Biopharm to Advance Immunotherapy Regimens

Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which it will acquire BeneVir Biopharm, Inc. (BeneVir), a privately-held, biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of oncolytic immunotherapies.  BeneVir utilizes a proprietary T-Stealthâ„¢ Oncolytic Virus Platform to engineer oncolytic viruses, tailored to infect and destroy cancer cells.  Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC facilitated the transaction.    

"Oncolytic viral immunotherapy holds exciting potential in the treatment of solid tumors through the priming and augmenting of an anti-tumor immune response," said Peter Lebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology, Janssen Research & Development, LLC.  "BeneVir's unique technology platform complements our immuno-oncology research, which is focused on bringing forward an array of novel immunotherapies and combinations that may improve treatment outcomes for patients."    

BeneVir engineers oncolytic viruses through the T-Stealthâ„¢ platform to overcome the barrier of the body's immune system.  Janssen intends to advance pre-clinical candidates as standalone therapies and in combination with other immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumor cancers (e.g., lung, prostate, colorectal, etc.).

"We are delighted to add the scientific caliber of the BeneVir team and their oncolytic immunotherapy platform to Janssen's robust immuno-oncology efforts," said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. "We are committed to pursue transformational science from our own laboratories and those of others, as we continue to advance our focus on treating some of the world's most devastating diseases."

BeneVir will maintain a research presence in Rockville, Maryland and become part of the Janssen Oncology Therapeutic Area.  The team will remain focused on the optimization of next generation T-Stealthâ„¢ oncolytic viruses in solid tumors and the execution of pre-clinical activities.