Johnson & Johnson has a 133-year legacy of impacting human health through scientific research and innovation. We pursue breakthroughs in science and technology in our own laboratories and through our powerful network of scientists and entrepreneurs all over the world. We combine a strong internal focus on R&D and strategic external partnerships with an emphasis on local solutions to meet different healthcare needs across the world.
Our innovation culture permeates Johnson & Johnson in a transformational ecosystem that builds on the ingenuity of our people and external networks. The practical ways we advance innovation include:
- We hire top scientists, medical and technology experts to advance the Johnson & Johnson product pipeline.
- We harness and scale breakthroughs in science and technology.
- Through our four global Innovation Centers, we identify the best external innovation to partner with startups, entrepreneurs, biotech and other innovators.
- JLABS, the Johnson & Johnson network of open innovation health sciences incubators, gives life science startup companies access to all the tools they need to take their breakthrough ideas from concept to commercialization.
- We maintain the longest-established corporate venture fund in the life sciences industry, and have been making strategic venture and equity investments in life science innovations for more than four decades.
Guided by Our Credo, R&D at Johnson & Johnson starts with the needs of those we serve: patients, consumers and healthcare providers. In each of our business segments, we prioritize the product pipeline based on the opportunity to address unmet medical needs and improve lives. We also consider the potential for commercial success, which allows us to reinvest on behalf of patients and consumers. We pursue the most compelling science, whether internal or external, and we are driven by our commitment to evolve, thrive and invest in an ever-changing ecosystem.
We focus our pharmaceutical R&D on preventing and treating diseases in areas of medicine where we can make the most meaningful impact. Our R&D is currently focused on the following areas of medicine: Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension.
We invest in modern data science to unlock disease insights and deliver better outcomes for patients. Janssen Research & Development is also investing significantly in new drug modalities, such as engineered cells, engineered viruses and gene therapy, to make a profound difference to patients—a difference that goes beyond what can be achieved using today’s traditional approach of small molecules and monoclonal antibodies. We focus on treating the disease as early in its course as possible and on creating regimens that head progressively toward cure. We have created a new approach within our pharmaceutical R&D, where we are pursuing research in validated biological pathways that we believe are central to several diseases.
We also recognize that the best science does not always reside in a single company. It exists within us and all around us. Bringing new medicines to patients requires collaboration and partnership. A large part of our success stems from the work we do with dynamic, diverse partners, including startup companies, academic centers, hospitals and health systems, government agencies, biotechnology organizations, and other biopharmaceutical companies.
These collaborations allow us to use our resources more efficiently, and further enable the process of developing breakthrough medicines to create real value for patients, their families, and communities. Today, we have approximately 140 active collaborations and partnerships from discovery to late-stage development. Here are some examples:
- Through our commitment to partner with those whose innovative thinking will bring new and creative solutions to the field of medicine, Janssen is collaborating with Legend Biotech USA, Inc. to develop a chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy (CAR-T), which harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. CAR-T therapy is a type of immunotherapy, which involves extracting a patient’s white blood cells, genetically modifying them in a laboratory, and re-administering the modified cells to the patient to permit the cells to attack the disease. The hope is that treatment will lead to longer remissions from disease for patients where conventional treatments are no longer providing benefit. Every year in the United States, more than 30,000 patients are diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and more than 12,000 patients die from the disease.22
- Janssen is collaborating with Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to develop an early-stage ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) candidate, along with utilization of a platform that blocks production of disease-causing proteins. This brings us closer to developing an effective therapy with the potential to increase rates of functional cure for people living with chronic hepatitis B viral infection. Hepatitis B is a life-threatening viral infection of the liver which, if it becomes chronic, can cause cirrhosis—scarring of liver tissue—and liver cancer. The World Health Organization cites hepatitis B as a global public health problem with 257 million people living with the disease and 887,000 deaths in 2015.23 While a preventative vaccine is available, cure rates for those infected remain low, and most patients require lifelong therapy. RNAi therapy candidates have been shown to have an effect on hepatitis B viral infection replication pathways and on the production of viral proteins.24 Our work with this investigational treatment and other assets within our clinical development pipeline makes us optimistic that we can achieve higher rates of functional cure for patients worldwide.
R&D resources are also used to improve existing, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved products. This investment has enabled us to advance more than 100 medicine candidates.
Over the past five years (2014 – 2018), we have had a total of six new medicines approved by the FDA. Five of these six new medicines were granted priority review by the FDA. Priority review is an expedited review program reserved for products that treat a serious condition and would provide a significant improvement for patients in terms of safety or effectiveness. During this same time period, we received eight FDA Fast Track designations, which facilitate development and expedite review of drugs that treat serious conditions and fill unmet medical needs. We also received approvals for more than 30 expanded indications or new product formulations that enable new groups of patients to benefit from our medicines.
Since the FDA established the Breakthrough Therapy Designation in 2012, we have received nine FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designations for indications for five of our investigational medicines. A Breakthrough Therapy Designation is a process that expedites the development and review of an investigational medicine that is intended to address a serious condition when preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the medicine may demonstrate a substantial improvement over other available treatment.
At the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, we are building a better health experience and enabling people everywhere to live life more fully. We combine our breadth and depth across surgical and orthopedic technologies, eye health, and interventional solutions with the scale and expertise of Johnson & Johnson to meet the changing needs of patients, health providers and our world. We are addressing healthcare’s most pressing challenges and creating solutions for a lifetime of overall health.
As one of the most comprehensive medical devices businesses in the world, we are working to design and disrupt every major stage of the healthcare experience. We focus on creating breakthrough innovations, advanced medical technologies and patient-centered solutions that enable smarter health, better value and improved outcomes. We aim to improve the health experience for patients, physicians, health systems and others along the spectrum of care.
Our legacy of pioneering medical device innovation continued in 2018 with the following:
- Johnson & Johnson Vision introduced ACUVUE OASYS with TRANSITIONS LIGHT INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGY, a first-of-its-kind contact lens that provides wearers with vision correction and a dynamic photochromic filter that helps to continuously balance the amount of light entering the eye. These contact lenses seamlessly adjust from clear to dark in response to changing light conditions, reducing exposure to bright light indoors and outdoors, including filtering blue light and blocking UV rays.
- In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) Innovation and Technology Payment program went live on April 1, 2018, with four healthcare innovations that will be fast-tracked into use. One of these is our ETHICON Plus Sutures, recognized for reducing the risk of hospital infections such as the methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) “super bug.” More than a quarter of hospital-acquired infections are surgical site infections,25 most of which can be prevented; Plus Sutures, coated with a layer of triclosan, play a significant role in reducing the risk of infections and helping patients recover.
- Our new SURGICEL Powder Absorbable Hemostat, was selected as the Gold Winner in the Drug-Delivery Devices and Combination Products category of the 20th Annual Medical Design Excellence Awards competition. SURGICEL Powder advances blood clotting and rapidly stops continuous, broad-surface oozing of blood in many surgical situations.
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. believes in caring for people around the world by anticipating their needs and creating solutions and experiences that help them and those they care for live healthy, vibrant lives. Johnson & Johnson Consumer, known for its iconic brands, is one of the largest and most scientifically driven consumer businesses in the world. Most of our products are endorsed as #1 in their category by healthcare professionals.
Our R&D capabilities are focused on providing scientifically and clinically proven solutions for consumer needs. Our R&D is strategically organized around consumer needs, in Consumer Healthcare (Pain, Cough/Cold, Allergy, Digestive Health, Smoking Cessation, Oral Care, Wound Care, Feminine Care) and in Skin Care (Baby, Face, Sun, Body, Hair). We deliver products and solutions grounded in deep consumer insights and backed by strong research. We seek important new technologies and solutions that can be accelerated to consumers through co-creation with external innovators and our internal R&D teams.
Inspired by research from consumer studies, LISTERINE introduced the most significant oral care innovation in decades: LISTERINE GO! TABS, solid Clean Mint tablets that transform into a swishable, alcohol-free liquid when chewed to deliver fresh breath for up to four hours. Made from food-grade ingredients, the product (sold under the name READY! TABS in the United States) was formulated to neutralize odor molecules—even in areas a toothbrush can’t reach, like the back of the tongue—and be safely swallowed. LISTERINE GO! TABS are helping consumers re-think their everyday oral care routine with a revolutionary new form that works with today’s on-the-go lifestyle.
Our Innovation Ecosystem
Our commitment to the global community of innovators and creating a fertile ecosystem is broad and deep through multiple Johnson & Johnson Innovation nodes. These include business development, venture investment, incubation, and the R&D resources from across our Company working in tandem to advance science and technology at all stages of innovation. Today, there are 500+ active opportunities and collaborations ranging from licensing and acquisition deals with big and small companies to academic consortia, individual academic relationships and government collaborations.
Our innovation incubator
JLABS, our open-innovation ecosystem for healthcare entrepreneurs, has become a significant force in health innovation, supporting hundreds of entrepreneurs around the globe working to turn breakthrough science into transformative solutions in biotech, pharmaceutical, medical devices, consumer and digital health programs. JLABS’ no-strings-attached model has helped entrepreneurs without taking any equity or intellectual property, encouraging collaboration while providing access to the world’s leading experts, executives and businesspeople to help companies grow. Also, JLABS maintains Investor Hubs, a network of global investors, at each of its sites to mentor and potentially invest in JLABS portfolio companies.
As alumni, JLABS offered to continue to mentor us. Through the JPALS program, we connected with Johnson & Johnson’s global regulatory experts, whose deep knowledge and experience is invaluable to us.
The Belgium-based JLINX incubator, a collaboration launched in 2016 between Janssen and Bioqube Ventures, has now transitioned into a JLABS, making this the first JLABS in Europe. JLABS@BE will accommodate up to 30 life science startups focused on innovations across the entire healthcare spectrum, including biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer and healthtech sectors.
For the sixth consecutive year, in 2018, Johnson & Johnson was named a Clarivate Analytics Top 100 Global Innovator. The Top 100 Global Innovator list spotlights the world’s most innovative organizations that prioritize investments in unique and enduring inventions.
New partnering office in Australia
In 2018, we launched the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office in collaboration with the Victorian State Government and Monash University. The new facility will accelerate healthcare innovation and commercialization in Victoria and beyond. JJIPO@Monash will focus on nurturing the next generation of innovators by delivering training, mentoring and networking programs to connect innovators in Victoria with the global Johnson & Johnson innovation network.
3D printing research laboratory
In 2018, we announced our plan to establish our first 3D bioprinting research laboratory at Trinity College Dublin in collaboration with Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research. This collaboration will focus on advancing personalized, bioprinted healthcare solutions for patients and consumers while furthering our vision to positively impact human health through innovation. This collaboration focuses on developing 3D-printed biological implants to treat people affected by degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, a disease of the joints caused by the breakdown of cartilage and bone tissue. Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 500,000 people in the Republic of Ireland, with about 10,000 hip and knee replacements undertaken annually.
Digital Health Innovations
At Johnson & Johnson, we always remain true to our roots as an innovative startup established in 1886. Through the decades, we have contributed to the evolution of science and technology, from pioneering the development of sterile surgery at the turn of the 20th century to current research on a differentiated robotic-assisted surgery platform in orthopedics, and to developing the first HIV vaccine. We are confident that in today’s rapidly changing healthcare landscape, Johnson & Johnson is uniquely positioned to lead the next frontier in medical innovation, powered by science and technology. Importantly, we leverage technology and smart solutions to empower the health workforce on the front lines of care.
With more than $2 billion annual investment in technology, we are investing for the future to shape the way healthcare is delivered, managed and experienced.
Tech for better health outcomes
Johnson & Johnson entered into a research study in collaboration with Apple Inc. to investigate whether a new heart health program using an app from Johnson & Johnson in combination with Apple Watch’s irregular rhythm notifications and ECG app can accelerate the diagnosis and improve health outcomes of the 33 million people worldwide living with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition that can lead to stroke and other potentially devastating complications. In the United States alone, AFib is responsible for approximately 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations every year. Planning for the study began in 2018, and was publicly announced in January; the study will launch later this year.
The Johnson & Johnson CARE4TODAY Connect, a medication management mobile app that currently delivers digital interventions, Behavior Change Techniques, including planning, prompt-cues, self-monitoring, and feedback and monitoring to help patients manage their treatments and get the support they need. In the EU, by applying the methodology developed by the Sustainable Healthcare Coalition and the NHS Sustainable Development Unit to Total Knee Replacement surgery integrated with the CARE4TODAY digital app, we demonstrated not only a reduction in patient’s length of stay, but also minimized waste, energy consumption, and carbon emissions associated with the patient care pathway.
With our wide reach and presence around the world, Johnson & Johnson has a significant opportunity and responsibility to deliver on the promise of Digital Surgery and profoundly change healthcare for generations to come. We are building a comprehensive digital ecosystem that uses advanced technologies across all types of surgical procedures before, during and after surgery, leveraging connected intelligence to deliver enhanced experiences and outcomes for patients, surgeons, and healthcare systems. The technologies from Verb Surgical, our strategic partnership with Google parent Alphabet Inc.’s Verily Life Sciences and our acquisition of Orthotaxy’s robotic technology for orthopaedics, together with our market-leading surgical instruments, medical implants and solutions, create the foundation of this comprehensive digital ecosystem.
Innovations in digital health at the front line of healthcare
With Johnson & Johnson Foundation grants, we support the development of health technology that connects people at the front lines of care to information, to each other, and to health systems. Our partners such as Living Goods and Medic Mobile, have digitally empowered nurses, midwives and community health workers in eight countries with tools for clinical guidance and tech platforms to serve thousands of patients.
MomConnect, a flagship program of the South African National Department of Health, has registered mothers to receive vital health information via mobile messaging, including via WhatsApp. NurseConnect, a companion program to MomConnect, is helping build peer support and learning communities among nurses and midwives. In 2018, NurseConnect allowed the South African National Department of Health to instantly alert midwives/nurses about the source of the world’s largest listeriosis outbreak.
CONNECT FOR LIFE, a patient-centric, mobile health platform funded by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson that engages in partnerships with leading health advocates to improve the understanding of, and attitudes toward, diseases such as HIV, TB and other infectious diseases. The program aims to address major challenges in disease management by using interactive voice response to manage: medication-adherence, clinic-attendance, prevention of new infections, provision of health tips and retention to achieve lasting positive impact against some of the greatest public health challenges. In 2018, CONNECT FOR LIFE improved anti-retroviral therapy adherence and promoted HIV viral load suppression in people living with HIV in India, Uganda and the Philippines, and has been deployed in Rwanda to support and manage mental health patients from relapsing.
Leveraging our expertise in skin imaging science, we are helping people understand their skin at a deeper level. In 2018, we launched the NEUTROGENA SKIN 360 app to help democratize dermatology. The smartphone-enabled tool measures the skin’s health above and below the surface, using technology once only available to dermatologists to record metrics including pore size, fine lines, and moisture levels. The NEUTROGENA SKIN 360 app then uses proprietary algorithms (based on decades of industry-leading research) and machine learning to recommend the right products from our portfolio for each user and help track results over time.