Janssen Launches Three New Research Platforms Focused on Redefining Healthcare

New Focus in Disease Prevention, Disease Interception, and the Microbiome to Propel Scientific Innovation

Feb 12, 2015, 06:00 ET from Janssen Research & Development, LLC

RARITAN, N.J., Feb. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Janssen Research & Development, LLC (Janssen), one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced today the launch of three new research platforms focused on disease prevention, disease interception, and the microbiome – areas of transformational medical innovation that are expected to change the healthcare landscape.  The new teams will collaborate closely with Janssen's five Therapeutic Areas as well as external partners to underpin ongoing research and propel scientific knowledge in these areas of significant potential to change the way diseases are managed.

"The future of healthcare will increasingly depend on identifying and correctly interpreting the earliest signals of disease susceptibility, preventing or intercepting disease before it even begins, and using the latest scientific insights from promising, emerging fields like the microbiome, to transform medicine," said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Janssen Research & Development.  "By advancing science in these areas, our new research platforms will strive to deliver the next generation of transformational medical innovation.  We believe the positive impact on people, communities, governments, medicine and the global economy will be dramatic and far-reaching."

Since 2009, an unwavering focus on meeting the needs of patients and healthcare professionals has enabled Janssen to introduce 14 new therapeutics and achieve 35 new indications in major markets for existing medicines, all of which provide important new treatment options across a multitude of serious life-changing illnesses.  "Looking to the future, our goal is to leverage the unprecedented advances in science to treat, intercept and prevent diseases in novel ways.  Through a combination of internal expertise and external innovation, we hope to make a meaningful difference for patients all over the world," said Dr. Hait.

The Janssen Prevention Center (JPC) will focus on the prevention of chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as Alzheimer's, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases, which increasingly impact aging populations and burden healthcare systems globally.  "To make a difference in these and other major areas of unmet medical need, our goal is to identify and research innovative solutions to extend people's healthy life span and compress morbidity," said Jaap Goudsmit, Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Prevention Center.  Headquartered in the Netherlands with laboratories in the Netherlands (Leiden), the U.S. (La Jolla, CA) and the UK (London), the JPC will leverage the world-class vaccine discovery expertise and capabilities of the former Crucell Vaccine Institute, a group formed in 2011 following the acquisition of Crucell by Johnson & Johnson.

The Disease Interception Accelerator (DIA) is a new, incubator-like group based in the U.S. (Raritan, NJ), which addresses the root causes of disease.  "Disease interception will intervene earlier than today's clinically accepted point of diagnosis and seek solutions that stop, reverse or inhibit progression to that disease, for instance type 1 diabetes or various forms of cancer," explained Benjamin Wiegand, Ph.D., Global Head, Disease Interception Accelerator.  "Through this novel approach, we aim to predict and pre-empt an individual from progressing to disease – before they get sick."  The DIA works to understand disease susceptibility, risk assessment and tackle the origins of disease such as genetic predisposition, environmental exposure and phenotypic alterations.  It will utilize a combination of traditional pharmaceutical and other, non-pharmaceutical approaches to intercept disease progression for at-risk populations, thus promoting improved individual and societal health and wellness.

The Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI) focuses on an emerging area of science which is increasingly recognized to play a crucial role in human health.  "By better understanding the microbiome – the diverse population of bacteria living in and on the human body – we hope to gain a deeper understanding of its role in disease and find new therapies to address major autoimmune diseases and other conditions for which no sufficient treatment options exist today," said Dirk Gevers, Ph.D., Global Head of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute.  "Through cutting-edge research and a global collaborative network, we aim to translate the science of the microbiome into therapeutic targets and diagnostic capabilities that have the potential to transform human health."  The JHMI will foster external collaborations through anchor research centers in the U.S. (Cambridge, MA) and Europe (Beerse, Belgium). 

"In most parts of the world, people live longer today than ever before.  They are increasingly likely to spend years or even decades of their lives in poor health.  There is a huge individual and socioeconomic need for strategies to prevent illnesses associated with aging or lifestyle," said Dr. Hait.  "As one of the world's leading healthcare companies, it is our responsibility to drive innovation which makes a difference to patients and ensures the long-term sustainability of healthcare systems."

About Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At Janssen, we are dedicated to addressing some of the most important unmet medical needs in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.  Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world.  Janssen Research & Development, LLC is one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.  Please visit www.janssen.com for more information. 

(This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding research and product development. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Janssen Research & Development, LLC and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: challenges inherent in research and new product development; the ability of the company to successfully execute strategic plans; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; changes to laws and regulations, including domestic and foreign health care reforms; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2013, including in Exhibit 99 thereto, and the company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.govwww.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. None of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies or Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.)

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