Johnson & Johnson Launches Life Sciences Incubator in Toronto
Recently, Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS introduced a new life sciences incubator in the MaRS Discovery District. The incubator will host 22 unique startups, which will be their largest launch to date. The participating companies have focuses that range from big data cloud services for genomics to a wearable sticker that informs the user when it is time to reapply sunscreen.

Eventually, the 40,000-square-foot incubator could house up to 50 startups representing a variety of vital sectors, including therapeutics and consumer health solutions. The incubator has a mandate to attract “early-stage life science incubators [to] a centralized hub” that will give them “access to the resources of Big Pharma.”

The incubator’s primary group of startups will include the seven winners of the JLABS @ Toronto Quick Fire Challenge, which awards promising early-stage innovation companies with residency at the facility. JLABS will help its initial batch of startups overcome some common hindrances to discovery and development, including the cost of establishing efficient and effective business infrastructure.

Johnson & Johnson’s Commitment to Healthcare

You might be surprised to learn that Johnson & Johnson is credited with pioneering the initial commercial first aid kits way back in 1888. While these kits were primarily designed to help railroad workers, they have since become the standard for treating injuries.

Today, Johnson & Johnson’s Innovation LLC is dedicated to their “mission to discover and advance the best science in the world that has the most potential to help patients and consumers,” says Paul Stoffels, MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson.

“We are confident that JLABS @ Toronto will support a vibrant ecosystem of startups and entrepreneurs with access to the world-class expertise and technology within our global network,” Stoffels continues.

Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, had this to say about the announcement of JLABS’ first Canadian research facility and innovation lab:

“The welcome addition of JLABS to Ontario’s extensive network of research partners, entrepreneurs and business leaders will help further augment our province’s booming life sciences sector. The collaboaration between JLABS, MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto will help support great advances in this growing sector and support highly skilled jobs in Ontario for years to come.”

Looking to the Future

In an interview with Medgadget, Melinda Richter, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, explained how their newest facility is poised to lead us into the future of healthcare:

“We designed this space for today’s 8th grader. Make sense? I’ll tell you why. We wanted the 8th grader to walk in here and say: “wow, this place is so cool; when I grow up, I want to work in a place like this”. We wanted to get kids excited about STEM programs, and about the business of health. We also though that if you’re in a working environment like that, you could imagine doing tomorrow’s solutions today.

We want to inspire people to go for it; go for broke, go for the futuristic, space-age kind of stuff. And you can do it today, if you’re in an environment like this. We hope to inspire the innovators in this community to be on the world stage, and to be the next Elon Musk of healthcare.”

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Posted by: DSR
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Tag: Healthcare
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