Janssen R&D, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, has launched three new research platforms focused on disease prevention, disease interception and the microbiome—areas of transformational medical innovation that are expected to change the healthcare landscape. The new teams will collaborate closely with Janssen’s five therapeutic areas as well as external partners, to underpin ongoing research and propel scientific knowledge.
“The future of healthcare increasingly will depend on identifying and correctly interpreting the earliest signals of disease susceptibility, preventing or intercepting disease before it even begins, and using the latest scientific insights from promising, emerging fields like the microbiome, to transform medicine,” said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., global head of Janssen R&D. “By advancing science in these areas, our new research platforms will strive to deliver the next generation of transformational medical innovation. We believe the positive impact on people, communities, governments, medicine and the global economy will be dramatic and far-reaching.”
The Janssen Prevention Center (JPC) will focus on the prevention of chronic, non-communicable diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases, which increasingly impact aging populations and burden healthcare systems globally. Headquartered in the Netherlands with laboratories in the Netherlands, La Jolla, Calif. and London, the JPC will leverage the world-class vaccine discovery experience and capabilities of the former Crucell Vaccine Institute, a group formed in 2011 following the acquisition of Crucell by Johnson & Johnson.
“To make a difference in these and other major areas of unmet medical need, our goal is to identify and research innovative solutions to extend people’s healthy life span and compress morbidity,” said Jaap Goudsmit, M.D., Ph.D., global head, Janssen Prevention Center.
The Disease Interception Accelerator (DIA) is a new, incubator-like group based in Raritan, N.J., which addresses the root causes of disease. The DIA works to understand disease susceptibility, risk assessment and tackle the origins of disease such as genetic predisposition, environmental exposure and phenotypic alterations. It will utilize a combination of traditional pharmaceutical and other, non-pharmaceutical approaches to intercept disease progression for at-risk populations, thus promoting improved individual and societal health and wellness.
“Disease interception will intervene earlier than today’s clinically accepted point of diagnosis and seek solutions that stop, reverse or inhibit progression to that disease, for instance type 1 diabetes or various forms of cancer,” said Benjamin Wiegand, Ph.D., global head, DIA. “Through this novel approach, we aim to predict and pre-empt an individual from progressing to disease—before they get sick.”
The Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI) focuses on an emerging area of science which increasingly is recognized to play a crucial role in human health. The JHMI will foster external collaborations through anchor research centers in Cambridge, Mass. and Beerse, Belgium.
“By better understanding the microbiome—the diverse population of bacteria living in and on the human body—we hope to gain a deeper understanding of its role in disease and find new therapies to address major autoimmune diseases and other conditions for which no sufficient treatment options exist today,” said Dirk Gevers, Ph.D., global head of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute. “Through cutting-edge research and a global collaborative network, we aim to translate the science of the microbiome into therapeutic targets and diagnostic capabilities that have the potential to transform human health.”