Johnson & Johnson Innovation has opened JLABS @ TMC, a new 34,000-square-foot life sciences incubator providing entrepreneurs shared lab space, private offices and modular laboratory suites, as well as state-of-the-art equipment and value-added operational, education and business services. The new JLABS facility can accommodate up to 50 startups, and will open with 21 companies that represent a range of disciplines and geographies. This first "class" of resident startups includes the four winners of the JLABS Quick Fire Challenge, which awards promising early-stage innovation companies with residency at the facility.
JLABS @ TMC builds on the successful JLABS model and is the fifth JLABS facility to open in the U.S. The Houston site is the first to open with a medical device prototype lab, including a 3-D printer, which will provide entrepreneurs access to highly specialized tools, as well as skills building programs to design and develop smart health technologies.
JLABS @ TMC is housed within the TMC Innovation Institute, adjacent to TMC's life sciences accelerator TMCx, enhancing its "think tank" –like environment and encouraging sharing of ideas, collaboration among JLABS, TMC and TMCx residents, and facilitation of relationships with investors and venture capitalists.
"We're thrilled to expand our JLABS initiative into Houston," said Paul Stoffels, M.D., chief scientific officer and worldwide chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. "The city's rich research, academic and investment communities provide a robust ecosystem of early stage innovation, and present a unique opportunity to collaborate with Texas startups to deliver much-needed therapeutics, medical devices and consumer health solutions to patients and consumers more quickly."
"We have been eagerly awaiting this day when JLABS @ TMC opens its doors and immediately enhances our already robust ecosystem of talented entrepreneurs who are solving the greatest unmet healthcare needs of our generation," said Robert C. Robbins, M.D., president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center. "TMC has spent decades making healthcare history, and now these business accelerators housed at TMC will take innovation to new heights."
JLABS @ TMC joins a network of facilities that are based throughout North America in life science clusters, including San Diego (flagship), San Francisco, South San Francisco, Boston and, opening this spring, the first international location in Toronto, Canada. These facilities are currently home to more than 100 early stage companies advancing bio/pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and digital health programs. The JLABS facilities will have a total capacity for 225 resident companies once all six are open and operational.
"Houston is already a very active life sciences hub, and we've recently seen a drive to further embrace the industry, establish clear leadership in biotech innovation and close the gap between research and commercialization," said Melinda Richter, head of JLABS. "JLABS is ideally suited to catalyze this result, not only through supporting the development of new healthcare solutions for patients, but also by providing startups with access to the broader JLABS network and its family of incubators."
Texas Medical Center hosts an increasing number of life sciences and biotech companies via commercialization initiatives, such as its Innovation Institute, steadily growing the opportunities for academic and industry partnerships in Houston.
The following companies are the first selected residents of JLABS @ TMC:
JLABS Quick Fire Challenge winners include:
Johnson & Johnson Innovation has entered into a collaboration with PerkinElmer to outfit the new JLABS @ TMC facility with world-class lab instruments and software as well as to provide training, OneSource Laboratory Services and on-site technical support for the resident companies.
All JLABS locations are accepting applications from biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and digital health companies.