2019 Health for Humanity Report
Better Health for All
Better Health for All Innovating for Better Health
  • J&J19-5
    Digital Health Innovation

Our Innovation Networks

Our mission is to create the leading global innovation network to generate transformational healthcare solutions through value-building external collaborations and partnerships.

Our goal is to unleash the power of science and technology to advance the health of everyone, everywhere. Fundamentally, Johnson & Johnson seeks to bring forth highly differentiated new healthcare solutions that extend and improve lives, not just through therapeutics, but also medical devices, consumer health products and integrated technology-enabled solutions.

Innovation acceleration

The Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers in San Francisco, Boston, London and Shanghai identify transformational early-stage healthcare innovation. They develop strategic collaborations with academics, startup companies and other entrepreneurs across their regions, who wish to partner with us to accelerate their novel science and technologies to make a transformational impact on human health.

  • 4
    Innovation Centers on three continents
  • 65+
    deals executed in 2019
  • $145+ million
    capital deployed on new deals in 2019

Collaboration in genome sequencing: In September 2019, a new collaboration was launched in the UK between government, a research charity and industry. Johnson & Johnson Innovation facilitated the collaboration for the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) project on behalf of Janssen Research & Development. The WGS project will sequence the complete genetic code of 500,000 UK Biobank volunteers. It is the single most ambitious sequencing program in the world undertaken as a public- private initiative, representing a potential major advance for public health. The project is expected to create meaningful insights into complex diseases during the nine-month window of preferred access to the data. Subsequently, the data will then be open to the global scientific community to interrogate and find disease-related information and potential solutions.

Early-stage drug discovery in China: In an agreement facilitated by our Asia Pacific Innovation Center, Janssen Research & Development is collaborating with HitGen, a Chinese biotech company with an industry-leading platform for early-stage drug discovery research centered on DNA-encoded chemical libraries. This agreement aims to design and build novel DNA-encoded libraries to discover unique small molecule assets to be used in drug discovery and development. This new program builds on the success of our earlier agreements, the outcomes of which helped us identify opportunities to support the discovery of a new generation of medicines to address unmet clinical challenges.

Partnering for breakthrough healthcare innovation: Johnson & Johnson Innovation partnered with the U.S. National Academy of Medicine in its Healthy Longevity Global Competition, launched in 2019. This multi-year, multimilliondollar competition in the United States is internationally seeking breakthrough innovations to extend human health and help people age well and live longer, healthier lives.

Life science incubation

Through Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, our life science incubator network for innovators, we support hundreds of entrepreneurs working to turn breakthrough science and technologies into transformative solutions in biotech, pharmaceutical, medical devices, consumer health and health technology programs.

  • 13
    locations around the world
  • 600+
    companies, including current resident companies and alumni
  • 145+
    collaborations with Johnson & Johnson

First JLABS in Asia Pacific: Launched in June 2019 in collaboration with local government and the Shanghai Pharma Engine Company, JLABS @ Shanghai is the first JLABS facility established in Asia Pacific. The state-of-the-art 4,400-square- meter facility can accommodate up to 50 life science startups focused on innovations across the healthcare spectrum, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer health and health technology sectors.

JLABS @ Washington, DC: Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Children’s National Hospital announced a collaboration to launch JLABS @ Washington, DC, a 32,000-square-foot facility at the new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus on the historic Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus in the nation’s capital. The co-location with key partners in the areas of public health research, innovation and incubation will be critical to accelerating breakthrough discoveries into new treatments and technologies. JLABS @ Washington, DC will be opened in 2020 to companies aiming to advance the development of new drugs, medical devices, precision diagnostics and health technologies, including applications in pediatrics.

Strategic investing in innovation

Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC is the strategic venture capital arm of Johnson & Johnson and a long-term investment partner to healthcare entrepreneurs. To date, JJDC has invested in hundreds of emerging life sciences companies developing healthcare solutions. It is a key element in our strategy to bring new healthcare products to the people who need them. We understand that each company is unique and requires a distinct investment strategy. At JJDC, we believe strongly in value-add investing and play an active role in the companies in which we invest.

  • 46+
    year legacy
  • 40+
    investments in 2019
  • $500+ million
    capital deployed in 2019

In 2019, JJDC continued to rank as the Number One investor in Healthcare Corporate Venture Capital13 for healthcare investments, deploying more than $500 million across over 40 pharmaceutical, consumer health and medical devices companies in the United States and internationally. Recent investments include:

  • CARA CARE, personalizing treatment recommendations for people living with acute and chronic digestive conditions; and

Read more about these companies in our 2019 JJDC Newsletter.

Cross-company innovation

Where possible, we seek to leverage our expertise across our different business segments in a holistic approach to address pressing healthcare challenges. We achieve this by establishing hubs or centers of excellence to harness resources from different parts of the business to deliver optimum solutions. Similarly, we address certain developments, such as the application of digital technology, from an enterprise perspective as well as within each business segment. Examples from 2019 of these specific areas of activity that go beyond the above- mentioned modes of innovation include:

The Johnson & Johnson Lung Cancer Initiative: The Lung Cancer Initiative is dedicated to transforming the standard of care for this devastating disease. Our vision is to develop solutions that prevent, intercept and cure lung cancer. By focusing on the underlying biology of the progression from risk to disease and accessing the best science and innovation available anywhere in the world, we aim to eliminate lung cancer with holistic solutions that combine pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer health approaches. An example is the Auris Health collaboration. Auris Health's MONARCH Platform with robotic bronchoscopy may significantly enhance clinicians’ ability to diagnose peripheral lung nodules today, and in the future will integrate the latest advancements in medical devices technologies and local drug therapies to enable earlier diagnosis and treatment.

World Without Disease Accelerator: The World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA) at Johnson & Johnson focuses on the discovery, development and application of disruptive products and technologies, business models and partnerships to eliminate disease. The group brings together capabilities in areas including the microbiome, immunosciences, sensors and wearables, predictive analytics and behavioral sciences to seed transformative growth opportunities and solutions for the prevention, interception and cure of disease. An example of this is where the WWDA is exploring multiple innovative approaches like digital twins to monitor, maintain and personalize an individual’s health.

A woman scientist

Investing in data science

Data science is a driver of astonishing health technology innovation today, and we are at an inflection point where health, technology and consumer industries are converging in new ways. Across the Company, we are employing leading-edge analytical tools, including machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and more to analyze new and expanded sources of data. We are leveraging data science to unlock disease insights and enhance the effective, efficient discovery and development of transformative medicines, create more meaningful consumer experiences, and deliver better outcomes for patients around the world. We are also committed to building a thriving network of collaborations that strengthen and leverage data science capabilities, advance compelling scientific research, and develop the next generation of leaders in healthcare data sciences. 

Advancing digital healthcare technologies

We aim to integrate the most advanced technologies throughout our healthcare developments. The enabling potential of technology can accelerate our ability to change the trajectory of human health. At any given time, we are collaborating with multiple partners across diverse health topics to drive the use of technology and data in novel ways for better health outcomes. In the surgical field, we are building a comprehensive digital ecosystem that uses advanced technologies across all types of surgical procedures, leveraging connected intelligence to deliver enhanced experiences and outcomes for patients, surgeons, and healthcare systems. We also use technology to support health workers at the front lines of healthcare; see our section on using technology to connect frontline health workers.

Several digital technology initiatives gained ground in 2019:

  • Using artificial intelligence in orthopaedics: DePuy Synthes, our orthopaedic medical devices business, entered into a global co-development and commercialization agreement with Zebra Medical Vision, a medical imaging analytics company, to bring artificial intelligence (AI) opportunities to orthopaedics, based on imaging data. Zebra Medical Vision’s technology uses algorithms to create three-dimensional models from X-ray images that will help bring affordable preoperative surgical planning to surgeons worldwide.
  • Using virtual reality headsets to train surgeons: We partnered with startup Osso VR to distribute between 150 and 200 OCULUS QUEST headsets to surgeons in the United States starting in April 2020, with a goal of expanding the program worldwide over time. Virtual reality (VR) technology allows surgeons to train where they are instead of having to travel. Eventually, surgeons and support staff could use VR to train together from separate locations.
  • New lab for 3D bioprinting: We opened a Bioprinting Lab located at Trinity College Dublin, creating a space to innovate in the exciting field of bioprinting that has the potential to revolutionize patient care. The 3D Bioprinting Lab was created and is collaboratively operated with the Center for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) at Trinity College Dublin, led by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). This lab, our first 3D printing collaborative laboratory partnership with a university outside the United States, demonstrates our commitment to supporting 3D bioprinting innovation to advance patient care and to transforming the course of human health. During the year, SFI recognized our AMBER collaboration with the Industry Partnership Award for 2019 on research to develop a new class of 3D-printed biological implants designed to regenerate, rather than replace, diseased joints.
  • New digital health report: We were proud to support the inaugural 2019 State of Digital Health report, which provides the first-ever snapshot of digital health ecosystems throughout the world and lays the foundation for better-informed and coordinated investments in digital health. The report presents data collected from the 22 countries across six regions that participate in the Global Digital Health Index (GDHI). The GDHI is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by a Steering Committee, of which Johnson & Johnson is a member.
  • Inaugural Data Science Showcase: In October 2019, leaders and data scientists from across the enterprise gathered for the first-ever Johnson & Johnson Data Science Showcase. Sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Data Science Council, the event illustrated the diverse applications for leveraging data to unlock insights to transform healthcare. The Data Science Council is populated by cross-functional experts from across the Company and is organized around workstreams addressing infrastructure and data sharing, security and privacy, and enabling a highly data-driven decision-making culture.
  • HEARTLINE Virtual Study for heart health: Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, in collaboration with Apple, opened enrollment in early 2020 for the HEARTLINE Study after a detailed planning process that started in 2018. The study will explore if the HEARTLINE Study app on IPHONE and heart health features on APPLE WATCH can improve health outcomes, including reducing the risk of stroke, with earlier detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib, a common form of irregular heart rhythm, is a leading cause of stroke in the United States.

13 According to PitchBook Search of CVC Investors Disclosed Healthcare Deals from Nov 1, 2018 – Oct 31, 2019.

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