UK respiratory specialist Vectura has signed a deal with Johnson & Johnson to develop anti-inflammatory therapies for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The collaboration will initially focus on a Phase II treatment and may include additional clinical-stage candidates, Vectura noted. J&J’s Janssen Biotech will lead the development programmes, while the Chippenham-headquartered firm will take responsibility for the pharmaceutical development and preparation for the Phase II trials.

Financial terms have not been disclosed but Vectura noted that the deal comprises upfront and development milestones, plus a tiered royalty. Chief executive Chris Blackwell said Vectura’s role is to apply its expertise in the development of products for airway-related diseases and to utilise its technology/device platform offerings, “some of which have regulatory and commercial validation”.

He added that Vectura, which has pacts in place with the likes of Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and UCB, “continues to be viewed as a partner of choice by companies seeking to address the unmet medical needs of patients with airway diseases”.