Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutica and Intrexon have collaborated to develop ActoBiotics therapies to treat type 2 diabetes (T2D), obesity and metabolic disorders related to energy dysregulation.

Facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the research collaboration is expected to address underlying pathologies of diabetes, which affects more than 387 million people worldwide at a cost of approximately $376bn.

T2D is a chronic syndrome that is caused due to dysregulation of blood sugar levels.

Under the deal, the companies will use Intrexon’s ActoBiotics technology to tackle multiple aspects of T2D with the potential to improve efficacy in maintaining glycemic control in the long-term.

"We believe this collaboration will make a significant contribution to this substantial global health issue."

The ActoBiotics technology is designed to deliver biological effectors selectively to the oral and gastrointestinal tract, enabling treatment opportunities that cannot be achieved through customary mechanisms such as injectable medicines and permitting ease of administration for patients.

Intrexon health sector senior vice-president Samuel Broder said: "Through the use of Intrexon’s proprietary ActoBiotics platform, we believe this collaboration will make a significant contribution to this substantial global health issue.

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"The breadth of opportunity to treat an array of diseases with our versatile ActoBiotics technology continues to expand."

The existing treatments for T2D generally target only specific aspects of the disease, leaving other related complications insufficiently addressed.

In addition to developing therapies to treat T2D, the companies will work on preventing diabetes.

The research collaboration will use the ActoBiotics platform to express certain effectors to help prevent pre-diabetics from progressing into full stage disease.