EMEA Spotlight 2022

Collaboration is at the core of Johnson & Johnson Innovation. We make it a priority to celebrate and share the work of our partners to help drive awareness and recognition of relevant and important milestones and topics. 2021 was a year when the global science and innovation community continued to respond to historic challenges and demonstrated our collective resilience, adaptability, creativity and strength of common purpose.

Despite the pandemic, science and innovation have continued to advance at lightning speed. Our commitment is unwavering; Johnson & Johnson Innovation will continue to invest in and support new ideas with the aim of bringing better health to everyone, everywhere.

Our goal is to accelerate individual transformational healthcare products, technologies or services in direct collaboration with academia, biotech or early-stage funding partners; and also to create strategic partnerships that can impact the biggest health challenges such as infectious diseases, cancer, mental health and neurodegeneration. To achieve these broader goals, we partner with government, healthcare services, medical charities, and other industry collaborators.

As our communities and health systems re-build from the pandemic, we seek to harness our diverse strengths to deliver the next wave of innovation that has the potential to change the trajectory of human health.


CP-315997. May 2022

Powering a secure biomedical data ecosystem

CP-315994. May 2022


Berlin-based Apheris is developing a platform to securely build, deploy and operationalize data products and AI across organizational boundaries. Their platform is used to launch secure biomedical data ecosystems where multiple organizations can collaborate to share data insights, while protecting sensitive patient and company data and intellectual property. Their stated goal: securely connect data across organizations to solve our biggest healthcare problems.

As a virtual resident company of JLABS @ BE, Apheris accesses mentorship from Johnson & Johnson data sciences leaders globally, broadening their understanding of data science challenges and opportunities with guidance from an industry leader.

CP-315994. May 2022

Global crowdsourcing meets local incubation
Bio Med

BioMed X Institute has collaborated with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen*) for many years. In conjunction with their partners, they provide solutions to biomedical research challenges by combining global crowdsourcing with local incubation of the world’s best research talents.

At the beginning of 2021, BioMed X Institute expanded their collaboration with Janssen by adding a third research program in the field of drug delivery. This research project strives to discover novel transport mechanisms in the human intestinal tract which could be utilized for oral delivery of diverse therapeutic modalities.

*Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Public-private sector collaborations for
potentially ground-breaking research
Cancer Innova

The Cancer Innova Program (CIP) is an innovative public/private collaboration promoting innovation in cancer. Members of the collaboration include the Kærtor Foundation, Spanish Association Against Cancer, Janssen*, Lilly, and the Galician Government. CIP also is connected with Venture Capitalists. This drug discovery program aims to transform disruptive science with the highest quality insights coming from laboratories and small companies around the world. The final objective is to achieve proof of concept in humans through a milestone-driven research program. It is part of the Business Factory Medicines model of the Government in Galicia, Spain, covering the drug discovery full value chain.

*Janssen Cilag SA

The biggest healthcare challenges
cannot be solved alone
Institut Pasteur

Through a new research collaboration, we are utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and genomics, aiming to advance healthcare solutions. The collaboration is a joint effort between Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Janssen’s Therapeutic Discovery & Computational Sciences and Immunology Therapeutic Area teams, The Institut Pasteur and Greater Paris University Hospitals (APHP). By combining biological samples, genomic data and AI, we are aiming to better understand chronic inflammatory disease biology, discover new therapies for patients and deliver a meaningful impact. Janssen’s Therapeutic Discovery & Computational Sciences and Immunology Therapeutic Area teams*, The Institut Pasteur and Greater Paris University Hospitals (APHP).

By combining biological samples, genomic data and AI, we are aiming to better understand chronic inflammatory disease biology, discover new therapies for patients and deliver a meaningful impact.

*Janssen Biotech Inc.

Making an impact since 2013
Ku Leuven

One of the very first EMEA-based collaborations in 2013 was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation between Janssen*, The Wellcome Trust and KU Leuven’s Rega Institute. Through the collaboration, researchers1 identified a series of compounds capable of inhibiting dengue virus replication in lab-grown cells. In 2021 Janssen researchers in collaboration with the KU Leuven Rega Institute and the KUL Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3) published preclinical data showing that an early-stage compound with a novel mechanism of action could potentially treat all serotypes of dengue and provide a period of protection against acquiring the virus.

Subsequently, at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting, Janssen announced the completion of a Phase 1, first-in-human clinical study evaluating a dengue-specific antiviral small molecule. This marked an important step forward in assessing the dengue antiviral against a disease that threatens nearly half the global population2 and for which there are currently no effective treatments available. Further clinical studies are in progress.

*Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Progressing promising innovation in immunology

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Mestag Therapeutics was founded in 2020 with the mission to better understand the role that discrete, tissue-resident fibroblast sub-populations play in disease and to better understand their influence on immune cells. Mestag is progressing a pipeline of first-in-class therapeutics to interrupt fibroblast-mediated effects on immune cells in inflammatory disease and cancer.

Mestag’s approach aligns with the strategic interests of Janssen’s* Immunology Therapeutic Area, which motivated JJDC’s investment in Mestag in late 2020. In 2021 Mestag then announced a target discovery, option and license agreement with Janssen, under which Mestag would interrogate fibroblast subpopulations across diseases and their interactions with key aspects of the immune system.

*Janssen Biotech, Inc.

CP-315930. May 2022

Investing to drive the future of MedTech
Ortho Spin

Through JJDC, our Johnson & Johnson Innovation corporate venture fund, we make strategic equity investments in life sciences innovations. In 2021, following JJDC-led rounds of venture investment, DePuy Synthes* acquired OrthoSpin Ltd. OrthoSpin has developed a first-of-its-kind technology for treating orthopedic external ring fixation patients, in which strut adjustments are automated, potentially reducing the risk of negative clinical outcomes caused by unintended strut adjustment errors and enhancing the patient experience.

*Synthes GmbH

Supporting innovative treatments
for unmet medical needs
Italy Switzerland

Johnson & Johnson Innovation facilitated an agreement in 2021 between Janssen* and Philochem AG, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on antibody- and small molecule-based targeted therapeutics. The collaboration aims to discover new small molecules of pharmaceutical interest utilising Philochem’s novel lead-generation technologies.

Janssen will collaborate with Philochem to apply its proprietary DNA-encoded chemical library technology platform, seeking to identify small molecule compounds that bind to specific targets and provide novel starting points for Janssen drug discovery programmes directed toward the discovery of innovative treatments for serious unmet medical needs.

*Janssen Biotech, Inc.

An ecosystem for MedTech startups

In 2021, Johnson & Johnson Innovation became a leading partner of sitem-insel’s private initiative, the Sitem Startup Club in Bern. sitem-insel is the Swiss Institute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine based at the Insel Campus Bern. Under its roof sits a wide variety of units from clinic, industry, research and education, to pursue innovation aiming to benefit the patient. The Sitem Startup Club addresses the multi-faceted needs of startups in the MedTech field. With the support of its leading partners, the Club launched the Sitem MedTech Hub which is located next to the Insel Campus Bern. The Hub is comprised of a purpose-built facility with co-working space, shared offices and meeting rooms aiming to enable a vibrant MedTech startup community.

Supporting the healthcare innovation
industry in a year of change

The Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) project, a collaboration between Janssen*, UK Biobank, three other pharma industry companies, Wellcome Trust and UK Research and Innovation, sequenced the complete genetic code of 500,000 UK Biobank volunteers and is the single most ambitious sequencing program in the world undertaken as a public-private initiative.

In 2021, UK Biobank made widely accessible to researchers the Whole Genome Sequencing data on the first 200,000 UK Biobank participants, representing the world’s largest single release of WGS data to date. These data could enable researchers to better understand how genetics contribute to health outcomes, represent a major potential advance for public health and reinforce the UK’s position both at the forefront of genomics and inter-industry collaboration.

*Janssen Biotech, Inc.

Global mentorship for innovators tackling
the toughest healthcare challenges

Vesper Bio is a Danish company that recently joined JLABS @ BE as a virtual resident. They are developing a small molecule program aiming to tackle frontotemporal dementia, a rare and fatal disease with considerable personal, familial, and societal impacts but without meaningful therapeutic solutions. With their program they will develop brain-penetrant molecules and select a potent preclinical candidate which they aim to deliver in 2022. They are tapping into the global JLABS entrepreneurial community and leveraging the unique JLABS value proposition of mentorship, access to capital, discounted services, business and scientific programming and networking opportunities.

A snapshot of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation footprint in EMEA
How do we help accelerate innovation?

We collaborate with entrepreneurs in all areas of the healthcare innovation lifecycle. Depending on your needs, you can tap into our range of acceleration models and capabilities, including:

  • Early innovation partnering & deal-making
  • Incubation and acceleration with JLABS
  • Venture investment with JJDC
  • NewCo creation opportunities
  • Late-stage partnering
Stay connected with us
Are you working on an early-stage innovation with the potential to create a transformational healthcare solution? If so, we want to hear from you!