ENP Newswire - 10 January 2014
Release date- 09012014 - New Brunswick- Johnson & Johnson Innovation today announced that it is expanding its global incubator presence through a novel collaboration with the Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel and other industry partners to establish a new biotechnology incubator near Israel'sWeizmann Science Park.
This is the latest in a series of recently announced collaborations to fuel entrepreneurship in the world's scientific hotspots. In addition, Johnson & Johnson Innovation announced several new collaborations with academia and biotech that focus on multiple disease areas and consumer healthcare challenges. These customized collaborations are part of Johnson & Johnson Innovation's strategy to support an international network of scientific entrepreneurs through access to best-in-class laboratory facilities, scientific expertise, and funding.
The new research and development collaborations span Europe and the United States and include the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and seven biotechnology companies: California-based Assembly Pharmaceuticals, Nodality and SutroVax; London-based TopiVert; Maryland-based Intrexon; Massachusetts-based Scholar Rock; and Netherlands-based Bioceros.
'Addressing today's unmet medical needs requires accessing the best science in the world and the best minds in the world working on it,' said Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. 'Johnson & Johnson Innovation is proud to be working with many partners to accelerate the pace of innovation on behalf of patients and consumers, and to unleash the creativity and entrepreneurship of scientists to solve today's healthcare problems.'
Expanding Global Incubator Presence to Israel
An outcome of a novel collaboration among Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC), the Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and OrbiMed Israel Partners, is a public-private biotechnology incubator that will be located near the Weizmann Science Park, Rehovot, Israel. The Weizmann Science Park area is considered to be one of the foremost centers in the world for multidisciplinary research, and is the location of a Johnson & Johnson Innovation satellite office.
'A key aim of Johnson & Johnson Innovation is to find novel ways of advancing the most promising early-stage science,' said Patrick Verheyen, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, London. 'The formation of the new biotechnology incubator in Israel is the product of an important collaboration between government, industry and venture capital that demonstrates a multi-partner approach in practice. The collaboration provides a unique platform to support and advance new companies with not only funding, but also strategic advice from both venture capital and industry pharmaceutical development experts.'
The new incubator, which will be operational in early 2014, is the latest in a series of recently announced collaborations with other biotechnology incubators to fuel entrepreneurship, including Montreal-based NEOMED; Toronto-based MaRS Innovation; San Francisco-based California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3); and Boston-based LabCentral. These announcements build upon the growing success of Janssen Labs, the 40,000 square foot flagship facility that opened in early 2012 in San Diego at Janssen's West Coast Research Center.
New and Customized Early Stage Collaborations
The eight new early stage collaborations announced today represent recent deals closed by the Boston, California, and London innovation centers that are forging important research and development alliances across Johnson & Johnson's three business areas: Consumer; Medical Devices & Diagnostics; and Pharmaceuticals.
'Through our customized deals and incubator strategy, we are collaborating with the world's best innovators and academia to discover and develop the next generation of breakthrough medical solutions,' said Diego Miralles, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, California and Global Head Innovation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation officially opened its innovation centers a little more than a year ago, establishing four regional hubs to identify scientific opportunities with the potential to advance the development of new healthcare solutions.
Today, there are three fully operational offices in Boston, London, and California, and a fourth location in Shanghai now houses a few scientific experts and will officially open this year.
'An exciting and common factor for many of the collaborations we announced today is how we are working together to leverage our collective and deep knowledge about specific biologic pathways and disease areas,' said Robert Urban, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston. 'This approach offers the potential to make strong research decisions that can ultimately support company and program success.'
New collaborations include:
Boston Innovation Center
.Translational Oncology Research Alliance with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have established a translational oncology program with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to enable the personalization of immunotherapies for the treatment of various cancers. Researchers and clinicians will work in partnership to leverage shared scientific and clinical capabilities to decipher the immuno-oncology code, with the intent to enable durable clinical response, rational combination strategies, precision medicine approaches, and identification of new opportunities for therapeutic interventions.
.Skin and Hair Care Research & Development Collaboration with Intrexon Corporation - Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have established a research and development collaboration with synthetic biology company Intrexon Corporation to advance new skin and hair care products. Through the collaboration, technical experts at both companies will work together to explore, define, and test new potential products for consumers.
.Novel Biologics Collaboration with Scholar Rock, Inc. - Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have formed a collaboration with the biotechnology company Scholar Rock, Inc. to discover and develop novel biologics, called niche activators, to target TGF-beta 1 in the immune system microenvironment and offer a potential new therapeutic approach for autoimmune diseases and cancer immunotherapies. Immunologists from the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in Boston and Janssen Biotech will work with Scholar Rock to therapeutically target the TGF-beta 1 activation mechanism by applying Scholar Rock's proprietary technology platform.
California Innovation Center
.Virology-Focused Investment in Assembly Pharmaceuticals - JJDC, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, has made an investment in Assembly Pharmaceuticals, a virology-focused biotech company with a discovery platform based on proprietary Core Protein Allosteric Modulators (CpAMs) for the treatment of viral infections, starting with Hepatitis B (HBV). CpAMs are being studied for their potential to become curative rather than suppressive therapies. Assembly is located at Janssen Labs @QB3 in San Francisco, Calif.
.Single Cell Network Profiling Collaboration with Nodality, Inc. - Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have formed a collaboration with the biotechnology company Nodality, Inc. to apply Nodality's proprietary Single Cell Network Profiling (SCNP) technology to immunology R&D programs. The goal of the collaboration is to improve the development and probability of success of compounds for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease by further understanding the biologic function and activity at the single cell level.
.Vaccine New Company Creation Investment in SutroVax - Johnson & Johnson Innovation, through the JJDC, and Sutro Biopharma, a privately funded company, have co-funded a new company, SutroVax. SutroVax will leverage Sutro Biopharma's Xpress CF cell-free biochemical protein synthesis platform to develop novel vaccines for a broad range of disease targets.
London Innovation Center
.Monoclonal Antibody Licensing agreement with Bioceros - Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have announced an agreement with Dutch biotechnology company Bioceros under which Bioceros, through its affiliated company BiocerOX Products B.V., has granted Janssen exclusive worldwide rights to develop a monoclonal antibody directed at an immune checkpoint modulator. The agreement reflects the growing interest in modulating a patient's immune responses as a therapeutic approach with the potential to target a variety of tumors at all stages of disease.
.Topical Medicines Investment in TopiVert - JJDC, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation has made an investment in TopiVert, a company focused on developing topical medicines for inflammatory diseases of the gut and eye based on NSKI (narrow spectrum kinase inhibitor) technology. JJDC and NeoMed Management join existing investors SV Life Sciences and Imperial Innovations Group PLC in this round of funding.