Johnson & Johnson Innovation has launched a five-year partnership with Boston University to develop new solutions for the prevention, interception and curing of lung cancer.

As part of the collaboration, the partners will build Johnson & Johnson Innovation Lung Cancer Center at the university.

The new facility will act as a platform for the university researchers to jointly work with J&J’s Lung Cancer Initiative members. The centre will be led by Boston University professor of medicine, pathology and bioinformatics Avrum Spira.

Initially, the alliance will focus on collaborative programmes for two lung cancer research studies involving military personnel. These studies are designed to develop, integrate and validate molecular and imaging-based biomarkers for enabling better identification of the cancer.

The programme will also include a third pre-cancer genome atlas (PCGA) study, which aims to establish determinants of premalignant disease progression. This is expected to facilitate interception strategies targeting the disease at molecular level.

“The alliance with Boston University will help identify novel technologies and approaches that support this new vision.”

Spira said: “To address the major clinical needs of this disease, as well as its economic impact, a new approach is needed.

“We need better and more rapid alignment of discovery with clinical application and development experience to bring forward important new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

“The alliance with Boston University and other collaborations around the world will help identify novel technologies and approaches that support this new vision.”

Boston University expects its pilot programmes to be selected and further developed under this partnership with J&J, and anticipates the discovery of biomarkers that will aid in early detection of lung cancer.