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University of Toronto, Janssen to research new treatments for major brain disorders

PBR Staff Writer Published 09 September 2014

The University of Toronto has entered into three-year strategic open innovation agreement with Janssen facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation center of California to research new treatments for major brain disorders.

The partnership will support research through the Collaborative Center for Drug Research (CCDR) as well as improve the spirit of discovery and exploration in the field of neuroscience and mental health.

The agreement will also support research on new treatments for mood disorders and Alzheimer's disease.

As part of the deal, the CCDR will issue three calls for proposals over three years, while collaborative and open-source research projects will be solicited from researchers at the university and its affiliated hospitals through the Toronto Academic Health Science Network.

The deal will see scientists from Janssen work with researchers at the university to provide the drug discovery expertise needed to quickly develop new medicines from basic science innovations.

University of Toronto dean of the Faculty of Medicine professor Catharine Whiteside said this is an important opportunity to improve discovery of new therapeutics targeted at mental health and neurodegenerative disorders.

"We must make inroads in tackling these health challenges through innovation and strategic collaboration," Whiteside said.

University of Toronto interim vice-president, research and innovation professor Peter Lewis said the potential for tremendous gains in human health can be found in working together in an open innovation partnership.

"Janssen's support of open discovery furthers U of T's research goals, while identifying new therapeutic options that can provide new treatment options for patients."