BIOASTER announces Hepatitis B Collaboration with Janssen and the Cancer Center of Lyon (CRCL).

Objective of the collaboration: bring a predictive model for the development of novel therapies.

Lyon on November, 4th, 2015

BIOASTER, and Cancer Center of Lyon (CRCL, France) represented by its managing partners INSERM[1], CNRS[2], UCBL[3] and CLB[4], have signed a contract with Janssen-Cilag SAS, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson to advance the global fight against chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV). The collaboration is jointly coordinated by Janssen France and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by HBV. There are today an estimated number of 240 million5  people worldwide that carry the virus and remain chronically infected. Current treatments seldom eliminate the virus and can often be associated with adverse reactions.

This innovative project aims to support the preclinical research and development of next generation immunotherapeutic treatments for chronic HBV. The two years project will evaluate a novel preclinical model naturally susceptible to HBV infection, and its suitability as a model for human chronic HBV infection. This project aims to bring a major breakthrough in the availability of a predictive model for the development of novel therapies for HBV.

Nathalie Garçon, CEO and CSO of BIOASTER says:  “We are very satisfied and proud of our partnership model, where academic, small and medium sized enterprises (SME), pharmaceutical companies and BIOASTER are joining forces and competencies. Through this partnership, we are contributing together to the design and evaluation of a preclinical model that can make possible the development of new therapies against a disease that affects over 10% of the population in some parts of the world.”


BIOASTER is a Technology Research Institute (TRI) which conducts research programs in the four major application fields of microbiology and infectious diseases: vaccines, antimicrobials, diagnosis and microbiota. BIOASTER implements transdisciplinary R&D programs that bring together academics, SMEs and industrials around key thematic and technology units. Each project strives on academic research excellence and is undertaken by a team of high-level experts and engineers, which benefits from state-of-the-art equipment, technological infrastructures.

BIOASTER, an independent non-profit organization, is one of 8 French TRIs (Technology Research Institutes) created in 2012 on the initiative of the French Government through the “Investments for the Future” program. The two historical founders are Lyonbiopôle (a biocluster, the one-stop shop for healthcare innovation in Rhône-Alpes, France) and the Institut Pasteur in Paris. They were joined from the beginning by the CNRS, the INSERM, the CEA, Mérieux Institute, Danone Nutricia Research and Sanofi Pasteur to create a unique Technology Institute dedicated to infectious diseases and microbiology in health. The Institute benefits from the support of Lyon Métropole and the Region Rhône Alpes and the dynamism of a group of 40 SMEs in the Lyon and Paris regions.

Located in Lyon and Paris, BIOASTER has more than 100 employees including 80 world-class scientists and engineers originating from 16 different countries.

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About CRCL

The Cancer Research Center of Lyon (CRCL, Director Alain Puisieux, Deputies Patrick Mehlen, and Charles Dumontet) is a research structure created in January 2011 and supported by the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL), the French medical and scientific research bodies (Inserm, CNRS) and the anticancer Léon Bérard centre (CLB), with Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL) as hospital partner. The CRCL objectives are to create a centre of excellence in tumor biology in Lyon and participate in education and training in oncology. An important asset of the CRCL relies on the strong links established with clinical departments from CLB and the HCL, fostering the transfer from basic research to medical applications. Currently, the CRCL is composed of 21 teams, organized into three scientific Departments, with a total of 420 people, including 125 permanent researchers.

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[1] Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), France

[2] Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France

[3] The University Lyon 1- Claude Bernard (UCBL), Lyon, France

[4] Comprehensive Cancer Center, Léon Bérard, Lyon, France

5 Source World Health Organization, 2014