William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Research & Development, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
Seventeen years ago, the International Space Station (ISS) was launched into orbit, beginning its tenure as the longest human-occupied structure in space. Roughly the size of a football field, the ISS has housed research about space, the Earth, and medicine, all while traveling five miles per second. What makes the existence of the ISS even more remarkable is that it is a tangible representation of a collaborative process - domestic and international cooperation, public and private partnership - without which the research that has expanded our understanding of the universe could not have been achieved.
Collaboration in science has yielded some of humankind’s biggest triumphs, particularly in medicine, and most notably in recent history, as we continue to unlock the complexities of the human genome. Janssen Research & Development (Janssen) and Johnson & Johnson Innovation recognize the benefits of strategic and synergistic external collaboration as evidenced by our recent announcement describing 22 new partnerships that support our goal of creating important products for people globally.
As part of this announcement, we are launching a new program for accelerating the development of select internal, early-stage drug candidates through external collaboration. What is unique about this approach is our ability to partner strategically important assets through our global network, where terrific science can continue to occur – creating additional R&D; scale and, potentially, important therapies for patients more quickly.
This new program recognizes our strong focus on core disease areas and the need for collaborative business models. Over the last several years, our R&D; strategy focusing on select disease areas of major unmet medical need has been very successful, with an industry leading 16 NMEs delivered from 2009 to 2015. We’ve been able to build world-class in-house capabilities, lower pipeline attrition and enhance productivity through operational excellence, providing industry leading success rates. We’ve also built a very successful, global external innovation strategy, and will continue to invest in the best science, agnostic to source, to bring solutions that transform patients’ lives.
As a result, we have a pipeline brimming with innovation and many robust programs of potential value to patients in need. Our desire to advance these strategically important assets through collaboration reinforces our belief in them, our commitment to patients, and our desire to see solutions delivered as expeditiously as possible to relieve the burdens of disease.
Our goal is to be the most innovative company in the world, for patients and consumers everywhere. This is an important mission that requires constant refinement of our strategy and exploration of new opportunities. Our new collaboration program is an important evolution of our external partnering model and we look forward to advancing this novel approach.