For more than a decade, ViaCyte and BetaLogics have been independently working toward a stem cell-derived therapy for diabetes. In February of 2016, ViaCyte and Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, agreed to consolidate the assets of the Janssen BetaLogics group into ViaCyte.
As Paul Laikind, Ph.D., ViaCyte President and CEO, explained to FierceBiotech, “By combining the intellectual property and other assets of BetaLogics with ViaCyte, we will further strengthen our advanced program focused on insulin-dependent diabetes and solidify our leadership in the field.”
The acquisition occurred as ViaCyte reported positive preliminary results in the first clinical trial of a stem cell-derived therapy in patients with type 1 diabetes. Diego Miralles, global head of innovation at Johnson & Johnson San Diego, told FierceBiotech that these results showed “it’s clear that ViaCyte has pulled ahead (of BetaLogics).”