San Diego-based ViaCyte Inc. announced that it has entered into a rights agreement with Janssen Research & Development LLC, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

ViaCyte received $20 million from Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. The payment included a rights fee and a note convertible into equity at a later date.

The agreement provides Janssen with a future right to evaluate a transaction related to a combination product that ViaCyte is developing for type 1 diabetes, VC-01.

This right will continue through the initial evaluation of clinical efficacy of the product.

This new infusion of capital, together with the recently announced $5.4 million private equity financing transaction, provides substantial additional resources for the further development of the company's stem cell derived islet replacement therapy for insulin-dependent diabetes. The company plans to use the funds primarily to accelerate the clinical development of the VC-01 product candidate.

"These important transactions provide us with additional resources we need to pursue the further development of the VC-01 product candidate as a potential new treatment option for patients with type 1 diabetes," said Paul Laikind, president and chief executive officer of ViaCyte. "We are pleased to be extending our relationship with Janssen and JJDC in this area of mutual interest.”

ViaCyte is a private regenerative medicine company focused on developing cell therapy for the treatment of diabetes.