J&J plans innovation centers, looking for buys and team-ups

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) is on the lookout for acquisitions, partnerships and investment opportunities, and the company is planning to open four innovation centers around the world to scout for opportunities.

J&J is targeting San Francisco, London, China and Boston, looking to plant execs from its drug, device, diagnostic and consumer units in each place, granting them deal-making capabilities and a staff of 15 to 20, Reuters reports. The new centers will be operational in the coming months, J&J said, and the company is looking to become a partner of choice for forward-thinking biotechs in the world's science hubs.

"The innovation centers allow us to be closer to where the innovation occurs, to access and invest in the best early-stage science and technology, and to fuel our business as well as the health of the innovation ecosystem overall," J&J's pharma chairman Dr. Paul Stoffels said in a statement.

The company hasn't decided on a final location for its Chinese location, though Reuters reports it will likely end up in Shanghai. J&J launched a device and diagnostics-focused shop in Suzhou last year.

J&J has been less than skittish in pulling the trigger on deals--the company has made 9 acquisitions over the past 12 months, Bloomberg notes. In the device realm, J&J closed its acquisition of Synthes in the spring for a whopping $21.3 billion, the company's largest deal ever. In April, J&J CEO Alex Gorsky said the company would look to expand its emerging markets device presence through M&A, and J&J snapped up China's Guangzhou Bioseal Biotech, a maker of surgical products, for an undisclosed sum in May.

- read J&J's statement
- check out Reuters' report
- get more from Bloomberg
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here's FierceBiotech's angle

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