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Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Children’s National Health System to Launch JLABS @ Washington, DC

Wednesday, April 10, 2019  
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Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC and Children’s National Health System (Children’s National) announced a collaboration to launch JLABS @ Washington, DC, a 32,000-square foot facility to be located at the new Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus in Washington, DC. This Children’s National expansion is set on a nearly 12-acre portion of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus in the nation’s capital. The co-location of the Research and Innovation Campus with key partners in the areas of public health research, innovation and incubator space is critical to accelerating the translation of potential breakthrough discoveries into new treatments and technologies. The JLABS @ Washington, DC site will be open to pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health technology companies that are aiming to advance the development of new drugs, medical devices, precision diagnostics and health technologies, including applications in pediatrics.

This collaboration marks the second time Johnson & Johnson and Children’s National have teamed up to emphasize the importance of investing in the health and well-being of babies and children around the world. Through either sponsorship or membership, both entities founded Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization aiming to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries.

“The vision we pursued for this campus required a global innovation partner with a strong commitment to pediatric health and a clear understanding of the next big areas of opportunity for improving human health. We believe the JLABS model is exactly what is needed to help us drive discoveries that are then rapidly translated into new treatments and technologies,” said Kurt Newman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Children’s National.

Children’s National leads the FDA-funded National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation in collaboration with the University of Maryland, College Park. The consortium has provided mentorship support to more than 60 medical device startups to help advance their pediatric innovations. Five of the devices assisted by this program have received either CE Mark approval or FDA market clearance. Children’s National has also spun out more than 20 start-up companies from its own intellectual property.

Children’s National is currently ranked 7th in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding among pediatric hospitals. The new campus will allow Children’s National to expand its research programs. A key area of expansion when the campus opens will be high-impact opportunities in pediatric genomic and precision medicine, anchored by the organization’s Center for Genetic Medicine Research and Rare Disease Institute. Its proximity to federal research institutions and agencies, universities, and academic research centers enables the new Children’s National campus to leverage the rich ecosystem of the public and private sectors to help bolster innovation.

“For more than 130 years, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has been combining heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, Johnson & Johnson. “JLABS is an integral part of our external innovation strategy designed to help catalyze development of new healthcare solutions globally. We are delighted to launch JLABS @ Washington, DC in this uniquely vibrant and diverse life sciences ecosystem of world-class medical research centers, universities and government entities that can help us address some of the world’s most critical emerging health threats.”

Johnson & Johnson Innovation seeks to find the best science and technology, no matter where it is located, aiming to solve the greatest unmet medical and healthcare needs of our time. JLABS, in addition to offering emerging life science companies modular lab units, office space, shared core laboratory equipment and business facilities, will link the entrepreneurs within the District and across the greater Virginia and Maryland regions with the full breadth of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation model, including opportunities for funding, third-party services, educational events and R&D experts from medical technology, consumer healthcare product and Janssen pharmaceutical teams. In addition to providing access to scientific, industry and capital funding experts from across the industry, JLABS @ Washington, DC will also follow the same no-strings attached approach currently in operation in San Diego; San Francisco; South San Francisco; Boston; Lowell, MA; Houston; Toronto; New York City; Beerse, Belgium; and Shanghai, China (opening June 2019).

“It’s clear that Washington, DC has the talent, ideas, and passion to support a robust healthcare industry, biotech sector, and tech scene, and we are proud to welcome Johnson & Johnson Innovation as they join Children’s National on the historic Walter Reed campus,” said Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “This combination of a world-class children’s hospital and biotech incubator will drive discoveries that save lives, create jobs, and further strengthen DC’s status as the capital of inclusive innovation.”

“The rich ecosystem of life science innovators across the DC metropolitan area, including the bright minds within both the private and public sectors, provides a network of connectivity that can spark new ideas and propel the next big breakthroughs in science and research to protect and serve our global community,” said Melinda Richter, Global Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS. “The JLABS’ no-strings-attached model aims to remove the barriers for startups by providing the resources they need without taking any equity or intellectual property and encourages collaboration by providing access to the world’s leading experts, executives, and funders to grow their companies. With JLABS @ Washington, DC housed at this one-of-a-kind facility for pediatric research, we complement the Children’s National’s mission while further strengthening and expanding the region’s network to encompass the full breadth of science and technology innovators who are focused on developing transformative solutions to improve lives. In this model, our goal is to provide a platform for innovators to be ‘heroes in their own hometown’ while enhancing and saving lives, including those of our most precious and vulnerable, all over the world.”

As part of the JLABS @ Washington, DC launch, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will collaborate with Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS to develop and maintain a specialized innovation zone that will be dedicated to the advancement of medical countermeasures aimed at securing our nation from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, as well as from pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases. The innovation zone will provide residency for eligible companies and entrepreneurs focused on solutions with the potential to improve our nation’s response capacity and capabilities to address 21st century health security threats.

“Collaboration is at the heart of our efforts to change the trajectory of health for humanity. We are proud to once again collaborate with Children’s National and BARDA, with the goal of speeding healthcare innovation in the greater Washington, DC metro area to the benefit of all,” said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Johnson & Johnson External Innovation.

This agreement further builds on established collaborations between Janssen Research & Development LLC (Janssen) and BARDA to accelerate new therapies and vaccines to protect communities against these threats and seeks to leverage JLABS’s experience catalyzing communities of entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders to further promote and support the development of related treatments and prevention solutions.

“Our nation faces serious, evolving health security threats, and mounting a rapid and effective response against those threats requires innovative, end-to-end solutions,” said Rick Bright, Ph.D., BARDA Director and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. “We are thrilled to continue our strategic partnership with JLABS, foster the culture of innovation within the nation’s capital and expand our pipeline of new solutions to help save lives in public health emergencies.”
“Through our collaboration with BARDA we aim to leverage entrepreneurship, bold thinking and a diverse stakeholder ecosystem to help advance new medical countermeasures aimed at protecting both our nation and the citizens of the world,” added Richter. “These threats deserve the exponential strength and ingenuity of the brightest minds and this collaboration will give them the platform to address these threats.”

QuickFire Challenge Aims to Accelerate Pediatric-Centered Innovation

Johnson & Johnson Innovation is proud to be among those answering the call to prioritize pediatric care, a message widely celebrated at the 2018 State of the Union address alongside the promise of an additional $500 million in government funding for pediatric oncology research over the next 10 years.

To mark the launch of the new JLABS on the Children’s National campus and the collaboration with BARDA, JLABS announced the JLABS @ Washington, DC Children’s QuickFire Challenge aiming to accelerate the development and commercialization of pediatric-centered healthcare innovation. Innovators with the best ideas, technologies, or solutions that impact pediatric oncology, pediatric surgical care, and influenza will receive up to $150,000 in grant funding, residency at JLABS @ Washington, DC with the use of a bench, workstation and access to the JLABS @ Washington, DC community for one year, and mentoring from across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

The JLABS @ Washington, DC Children’s QuickFire Challenge encourages innovators to submit their ideas starting today, April 9, 2019 through February 7, 2020. The awardee(s) will be announced in 2020. For more information about the application process, please visit https://jlabs.tv/DC.

JLABS facilities have incubated more than 500 companies to date and are currently home to over 330 companies advancing pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health technology programs. More than 120 collaborations have been formed between companies working with JLABS and the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

Applications to join JLABS @ Washington, DC and other JLABS sites are currently being accepted from biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer health and health technology companies. Visit the JLABS website to learn more.

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