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Professors Marc Feldmann and Sir Ravinder Maini Named Winners of the 2008 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
Date:5/12/2008

overy and development of more than 80 medicines. Janssen's legacy continues to inspire Johnson & Johnson's commitment to finding innovative cures for unmet medical needs.

Feldmann and Maini have collaborated for more than 20 years in basic research and clinical trials that have transformed the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory conditions. Feldmann and Maini investigated the role of cytokines, protein messenger molecules that drive inflammation, and found that a single cytokine, TNF, was capable of driving the disease process. This led them to seek ways of blocking TNF, and they chose to use a monoclonal antibody previously developed for an unrelated condition. Clinical trials revealed rapid and dramatic improvement of rheumatoid disease activity with anti-TNF therapy, which led to development of several anti-TNF drugs. As TNF is also involved in other chronic inflammatory diseases, the pioneering work of Feldmann and Maini has led to the routine use of anti-TNF therapy for many prevalent and debilitating conditions.

Feldmann said, "We are very pleased with the widespread clinical applicability of our discovery that a messenger molecule, TNF, was an effective target for treatment not only in rheumatoid arthritis but also other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis. This discovery suggested that other cytokine messenger molecules are also good treatment targets and has led to an emerging branch of medicine -- anti-cytokine therapy. I believe Dr. Janssen would have been intrigued as we explore the range of diseases treatable by these anti-cytokines."

"Our discovery of anti-TNF therapy for disabling chronic inflammatory conditions was the result of contributions made by many colleagues and collaborators and only possible because of advances in molecular medicine and biotechnology," said Maini. "The joy of the fruits of our work is that it made a differ
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SOURCE Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development,L.L.C.
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