Johnson & Johnson Innovation today announced the opening of the Asia Pacific Innovation Center, located in Shanghai with satellites in Singapore, Australia, and Japan. The Asia Pacific Innovation Center extends the network of Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers in life sciences hotspots around the globe. With local science and technology experts and deal-making capabilities, the Center will identify and develop promising early-stage opportunities across the Company's three areas of focus: Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, and Diagnostics and Consumer healthcare products.
"We are excited to launch the Asia Pacific Innovation Center which builds on the momentum of our Centers in London, California, and Boston. Our goal is to collaborate with the best minds in the region to advance new technologies and deliver transformative solutions for the people of China and Asia Pacific at large, and throughout the world," said Paul Stoffels, MD., Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals. To date, the Innovation Centers have established more than 80 collaborations, including six announced today with organizations in Australia and China.
Speaking at the opening of AusBiotech conference at the Gold Coast, Australia, Dong Wu, Head of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Asia Pacific Innovation Center, said, "There is an explosion of growth in the Asia Pacific region, and China in particular, as well as significant medical needs. The Asia Pacific Innovation Center plans to build on the Company's track record of collaboration in the region and advance the most promising science. It will play a key role in sourcing early stage science in the region for the development of new medicines, medical devices, and consumer products." Johnson & Johnson Innovation is working with key stakeholders in China including the government, industry and academic partners to accelerate innovation for China and around the world. Through the Innovation Center, regionally-based entrepreneurs and scientists in Asia Pacific have one-stop access to customized support for promising early-stage ideas and technologies including funding, early and commercial expertise.
"The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has a long standing presence in China extending back almost 30 years. Our on the ground presence across the region allows us to work side by side with our partners with speed, agility, and insight to translate innovations into new products," commented Jesse Wu, Chairman, Johnson & Johnson China. "The Asia Pacific Innovation Center supports our larger goal to address China's specific healthcare needs, invest in local capabilities, and increase our external collaborations."
These themes will be explored at an upcoming Innovation Forum being sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovation in collaboration with the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board on Friday, October 31st.
The Asia Pacific Innovation Center has already facilitated several new collaborations in both Australia and China.
-- Exploring New Approaches in Autoimmune Disease - Janssen-Cilag Pty Limited (Janssen Australia), and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have established a collaboration with Queensland'sJames Cook University to explore whether proteins produced by hookworms could provide effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The research seeks to harness the ability of hookworms to regulate the human immune response
- which is what enables their survival in a human host - for the benefit of people living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
-- Targeting Pain Relief - Janssen Australia and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have extended an existing collaboration with University of Queensland (UoQ) on a spider venom project to identify peptides as potential treatments for pain. The collaboration seeks to develop a more targeted approach to pain management. An individual peptide derived from spider venom is under investigation for its ability to target a single ion channel or enzyme, with potential to block pain. This project was awarded a grant from the Australian Research Council.
-- Johnson & Johnson Innovation has established a broad collaboration with China Pharmaceutical University on several projects across its Consumer and Pharmaceutical businesses. The projects include a research and discovery collaboration around a novel antibody-drug conjugate to treat solid tumors as well as collaborations to explore new functional foods for improved health, the development of new topical products for fast-relief of itch and pain and long-acting pain relief and a long-lasting and fast acting nasal decongestant. The University is supporting the project through matching funds.
-- Collaboration with Peking University - Janssen Research & Development, LLC and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have established an R&D collaboration with Peking University to identify agonists and antagonists for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to help develop novel CNS medicines. GPCRs interact with proteins in a cell's plasma membrane and play a role in many biological processes. An imbalance in GPCR signalling may be implicated in cognitive and other neurologic diseases. Through the collaboration, Peking University will screen candidates using their novel assay.
-- Collaboration with Zhejiang University --- Janssen Research & Development and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have established an R&D collaboration with Zhejiang University to elucidate the physiological and pathological role of human lactate receptor GPR81 in the regulation of metabolism and metabolic syndrome such as dyslipidemia, obesity, and diabetes.
-- Establishing a Partnering Office at BioBAY - The Asia Pacific Innovation Center will establish a regular presence in Suzhou BioBAY, an incubator with more than 400 companies in the areas of drug discovery, biotech, IVD, medical devices and nanotech. The office will function as an extension of the Asia Pacific Innovation Center to work with academics and entrepreneurs on a more local basis. The Innovation Center Partnering Offices are part of a broader strategy to interact more directly with life science clusters around the world.
The Asia Pacific Innovation Center is located at ChengKai International Tower, 355 Hong Qiao Road, Shanghai 200030.