Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Janssen selected the following companies to receive the grants from over 470 global applicants with solutions across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer sectors:
Australia-based RMIT University's Micro/Nanomedical Research Center, led by Leslie Yeo, Ph.D., has developed core technology consisting of a portable handheld personalized nebulization platform that enables the aerosolization of drugs for their delivery via inhalation to the lungs. The technology not only offers needle-free administration and the opportunity for systemic delivery of both small and large molecule therapeutics, but also the opportunity for local targeting directly to the lungs, which makes it very attractive for targeting lung diseases, including lung cancer, which is the specific area that represents a critical unmet medical need.
Maryland-based Glyscend, Inc., led by Ashish Nimgaonkar, M.D., Co-founder and CEO, is developing transformative therapies for metabolic diseases (such as type 2 diabetes and obesity) by reducing the concept of bariatric (gastric bypass) surgery into a pill. While type 2 diabetes has traditionally been treated with oral and injectable drugs, these therapies compound over a patient's lifetime causing weight gain and potentially leading to greater insulin resistance. Bariatric surgery has been shown to have a profound beneficial effect, not only on obesity but also on type 2 diabetes independent of weight loss. Based on the insights from these surgeries, Glyscend is developing the first orally administered intestinal barrier which mimics the intestinal bypass portion of bariatric surgery, thus providing the therapeutic benefits of this surgery in a pill form.
California-based Neurotrack, led by Elli Kaplan, CEO, is on a mission to transform the diagnosis and prevention of memory loss and related diseases like Alzheimer's. The company's product is the Imprint™ Check-Up, a five-minute test that uses eye-tracking technology to assess cognitive decline before symptoms appear. The early diagnosis of memory loss is critical for prevention of cognitive decline and this test is the only tool that can predict memory loss before it starts. In addition, Neurotrack offers a Cognitive Health Program that provides users with tools and advice to make lifestyle changes scientifically proven to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and diseases like Alzheimer's.
"We reviewed an unprecedented number of world-class technologies through this QuickFire Challenge and our three grant recipients represent potentially transformative innovations that employ cross-sector approaches to intercepting and preventing disease," said Barry A. Springer, Ph.D., Vice President of Strategy, Technology and Innovation and Research, Janssen BioTherapeutics. "We at Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation are committed to working with the best scientists and innovators globally to develop solutions that address critical patient health needs."
"We continue the fight for a world without disease and are inspired by these three highly innovative and forward-looking companies, each of which holds potential to transform patient care for widespread health conditions," said Melinda Richter, Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation | JLABS. "We look forward to working more closely with these grant recipients as they advance their healthcare innovations with the goal of delivering solutions to the patients that need them."
The World Without Disease QuickFire Challenge sought comprehensive, end-to-end, integrated solutions that have the potential to improve the health of people around the world, particularly in disease areas of significant global impact to patients. Challenge entrants were evaluated based on their ability to meet the following criteria:
Address a particular cohort with a critical unmet medical need in the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies' strategic areas of interest, which focus on major diseases of broad impact to people globally.
Integrate a novel approach that combines pharmaceutical, medical devices and/or consumer health solutions.
Tackle part or all of the spectrum of prevention, interception and cure.
Outline how the award would help them reach a critical milestone within the timeframe of a single year and provide a full "time-to-market" plan for their solution.
About Johnson & Johnson Innovation and JLABS Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC focuses on accelerating all stages of innovation worldwide and forming collaborations between entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson's global healthcare businesses. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with one-stop access to science and technology experts who can facilitate collaborations across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer companies of Johnson & Johnson. Under the Johnson & Johnson Innovation umbrella of businesses, we connect with innovators through our regional Innovation Centers; Johnson & Johnson Innovation | JLABS; JLINX; Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.; and our business development teams to create customized deals and novel collaborations that speed development of innovations to solve unmet needs in patients. JLABS provides the tools and resources needed to help life science startups thrive. Residents have access to turnkey, state-of-the-art infrastructure as well as year-round commercialization curriculum, networking events and an onsite team for operations and business services, all with no strings attached. For more information or to apply to JLABS, please visit www.JLABS.jnjinnovation.com. For more information about Johnson & Johnson Innovation, please visit: www.jnjinnovation.com.
About Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at www.janssen.com. Follow us at www.twitter.com/JanssenGlobal.