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Janssen, Castleman Disease Collaborative Network Partner on Proteomic Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Rare-disease non-profit group the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network said today that it is partnering with Janssen Research and Development in a proteomics study of patients with Castleman disease.

Specifically, the partners hope to improve diagnosis and treatment of one of the three subsets of the disorder, called idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD).They plan to measure approximately 1,300 analytes in more than 260 serum samples collected from 100 iMCD patients at various time points during active disease.

Janssen will fund a significant portion of the project and contribute iMCD serum samples that were collected as part of a previous clinical trial. CDCN is also funding a portion of the project and will contribute access to a network of physician scientists and partner academic institutes to obtain additional disease and normal control serum samples, and to analyze the results of the proteomic screen.

According to CDCN, about 1,000 new cases of iMCD are diagnosed each year in the United States but the causes are unknown. Patients experience a wide spectrum of immune activation symptoms, and about 35 percent of afflicted people die within five years of diagnosis.

Janssen's anti-interleukin-6 monoclonal antibody siltuximab was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of iMCD in 2014. However, not all patients respond or respond equally. Having spearheaded clinical criteria for diagnosing the disorder, CDCN now aims to help Janssen identify molecular biomarkers that can improve the diagnostic process, and potentially also serve as new therapeutic targets for those who don't respond to current drugs.