Johnson & Johnson Innovation announces 12 new life science alliances

Friday, June 20, 2014

Johnson & Johnson Innovation has announced 12 new alliances with life science companies and research institutions around the globe to explore early-stage innovation in a broad range of therapeutic areas and across pharmaceuticals, medical device and diagnostics and consumer healthcare.

“The future of healthcare will be defined by companies, academic institutions and governments that collaborate to leverage existing strengths, while at the same time think outside current paradigms and experiment with new ways of innovating,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., chief scientific officer, Johnson & Johnson and worldwide chairman, pharmaceuticals. “By being where these new frontiers in science and technology are being forged, our goal is to translate these insights into promising treatments for the future.”

Launched more than a year ago, Johnson & Johnson Innovation centers are working globally with life science researchers and entrepreneurs to identify exciting early-stage technologies and translate them into solutions for patients.

The early-stage collaborations announced represent recent R&D alliances facilitated by the Boston, California and London innovation centers and include technologies such as 3-D printing for orthopedic trauma, creating new brown fat for metabolic diseases and advancing novel science in areas of significant unmet medical need such as lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, prostate cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and insomnia. 

The collaborations include new cancer treatments targeting lymphoma, patient-specific 3D printing for orthopedic needs, advancing progress on Alzheimer’s disease and neuroscience, seeking novel approaches to treat diabetes and cardiovascular disease, targeting autoimmune disease, new strategies for skin and oral and respiratory conditions.

  • Janssen Biotech and J&J Innovation have formed a research collaboration with Weill Cornell Medical College to develop compounds for targeting the function of a lymphoma causing protein.
  • Janssen Biotech and J&J Innovation have obtained an exclusive, worldwide license from Aduro BioTech to certain product candidates specifically engineered for the treatment of prostate cancer.
  • DePuy Synthes Products and J&J Innovation have formed a strategic collaboration with medical device company Tissue Regeneration Systems (TRS) to help develop patient-specific, resorbable implants for large bone segmental defect treatment in trauma and orthopedic oncology. The collaboration matches DePuy Synthes’ experience with TRS’ 3-D printing technologies and development experience.
  • The neuroscience therapeutic area of Janssen R&D will participate in the U.K. Dementias Research Platform. The platform is a major initiative of the Medical Research Council that seeks to accelerate progress in dementias research through a coordinated public-private partnership with six industry and eight academic institutions.
  • Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a member of the J&J Family of Companies, has entered a research collaboration and option agreement with BrainStem Biometrics. Ethicon will co-fund studies to confirm the clinical and operational utility of BrainStem Biometrics’ Tremor Monitor Unit, a small, non-invasive medical device biosensor used to detect minute eye movements in patients undergoing anesthesia.
  • Janssen Pharmaceutical, J&J Innovation and the Janssen neuroscience therapeutic area have established a research collaboration with Minerva Neurosciences around development of an orexin-2 antagonist, MIN-202. The program will focus on the treatment of patients with primary and secondary insomnia.
  • J&J Development participated in an equity investment of Rodin Therapeutics. Rodin is dedicated to finding epigenetic modulators for the treatment of cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals and J&J Innovation have established a collaboration with biotech company Energesis Pharmaceuticals, which is identifying biological compounds that stimulate the formation of brown fat (BAT) for use in treating metabolic diseases.
  • J&J Development has made an equity investment in Navitor Pharmaceuticals. Navitor is developing highly specific modulators of mTORC1, the pathway primarily responsible for cells’ response to nutrient availability including cell growth and function.
  • J&J Development has made an equity investment in Ascelegen Therapeutics. Ascelegen is working on developing novel growth factor-related therapies for cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure. 
  • J&J Development participated in an equity investment in Padlock Therapeutics. Padlock is developing new therapies targeting the protein arginine deiminases, a class of enzymes that mediate protein citrullination. 
  • J&J Consumer Companies and J&J Innovation have established a collaboration with scientists from the University of Manchester to explore potential applications of probiotic extracts for prevention and treatment of skin, oral and respiratory conditions.

J&J Innovation launched the innovation centers last year, establishing four regional hubs to identify scientific opportunities with the potential to advance the development of new healthcare solutions. Through the innovation centers, external innovators have access to a broad range of resources within J&J, including funding, R&D experience and incubation at one of the company’s four Janssen Labs facilities. There currently are fully operational offices in Boston, London and California, and a fourth location in Shanghai now houses a small, growing scientific team and will officially open this year to develop collaborations across the Asia Pacific region.

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