Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Johnson & Johnson Stops Hepatitis C Drug Development Program



The company plans to focus on drug development for the chronic hepatitis B market, for which there are far fewer therapies.

Share this!

September 12, 2017 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

In the wake of Gilead’s string of hepatitis C therapy approvals, Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division, Janssen, has announced that it will cease development for the infectious disease. Instead, the company plans to focus on drug development for the chronic hepatitis B market, for which there are far fewer therapies.

According to Janssen, the “decision was made in light of the increasing availability of a number of highly effective therapies addressing the medical need in hepatitis C.” In July of this year, Gilead received FDA approval for Vosevi, its fourth drug developed to treat hepatitis C.

Specifically, the drugmaker will halt development on JNJ-4178, an investigational combination antiviral drug designed to treat hepatitis C. While the currently-underway Phase II clinical trials for the drug will continue as planned, development of the drug will stop as soon as those programs end.

“Going forward, our hepatitis R&D efforts will focus on chronic hepatitis B, where a high unmet medical need still exists,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Blatt, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Infectious Disease Therapeutics, Janssen. “Our scientists are energized by this challenge and our research ambition is to achieve a functional cure of hepatitis B which affects over a quarter of a billion people globally.”

Janssen has a long history of hepatitis C drug development. However, most drugs used to treat the disease have a hard time competing with Gilead’s over 90 percent cure rate for hepatitis C.

In 2015, Achillion inked a licensing agreement with Janssen for JNJ-4178 which has now been terminated following the company’s decision to discontinue development.

“We are disappointed by Janssen's decision to discontinue HCV development given the positive data presented in phase 2a with JNJ-41781, demonstrating a 100% cure rate after only six weeks of therapy," said Dr. Milind Deshpande, President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion.

Keywords: Hepatitis C, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead


Share this with your colleagues!

Researchers Identify Role of ApoE4 Gene as Possible Drug Target in Alzheimer’s Disease

September 21, 2017 - A team of neurology researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that in the presence of the ApoE4 protein, another protein known as tau forms tangles in the brain which contributes to neuronal damage characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

Featured In: Life Science News

New Guidelines Address CAR-T Immunotherapy Toxicities to Prevent Patient Deaths

September 20, 2017 - Clinicians at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have published new guidelines in the journal, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, which could help in the management of these toxicities.

Featured In: Biotech News, Drug Safety News

Microneedle Skin Patch Could Treat Common Metabolic Disorders

September 19, 2017 - Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the University of North Carolina have developed a microneedle skin patch impregnated with a drug capable of converting white fat into calorie-burning brown fat.

Featured In: Medical Device News


Five Reasons Why Toronto is Emerging as a Major Life Sciences Hub


Development and Manufacture of Highly Potent API Drug Products Throughout the Clinical Phases

Innovation through Integration – Providing Next Generation Biomedical Devices and Interconnects

Clinical Payments Case Studies: Improving Efficiency, Cash Management, and Compliance

Why Phase 3 Trials Fail: Oncology Case Studies and Lessons Learned

Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.