Janssen creates new division to fight hepatitis C

 Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company, has created a division to commercialise its new drug for hepatitis C in the EMEA region.

The protease inhibitor TMC435, co-developed by Janssen and Medivir AB, is currently in phase III clinical trials.

The creation of Janssen Therapeutics EMEA, based in Belgium, reflects the growth of hepatitis C as an area of unmet medical need.

Hepatitis C, caused by the HCV virus, is a life-threatening chronic disease that affects over 130 million people worldwide.

Patient responses to treatment vary depending on genetic and other factors; many patients lack effective treatment options.

Janssen Therapeutics EMEA is dedicated to bringing TMC435 to hepatitis C patients in Europe, the Middle East and Asia as a once-daily medication.

TMC435 is being investigated in combination with PegIFN/RBV and with Direct-acting Antiviral (DAA) agents in interferon-free combinations.

“The WHO describes hepatitis C as a ‘viral time bomb,’ said Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman for Janssen EMEA. “That is why we have created a dedicated division, which will commercialise TMC435 and help meet hepatitis C patients’ needs.”

The new division’s strategy is to work with specialist licensing partners to develop treatments for hepatitis C. It will commercialise Incivo, another protease inhibitor, separately from TMC435 via its local subsidiaries.