J&J's Ethicon partners with Fogarty Institute to back next-gen device innovation

Fogarty Institute President and CEO Ann Fyfe

Nonprofit incubator Fogarty Institute for Innovation is partnering with Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) surgical device specialist Ethicon to develop next generation medical devices. Ethicon will sponsor the Institute to support its educational programs as well as offer leadership and mentorship to its resident med tech innovators.

The alignment comes a scant few months after Fogarty did a deal with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for an educational program on ways to improve its communication with early-stage medical device innovators. That aligns the institute with not only the FDA but also the top med tech R&D spender and revenue generator, Johnson & Johnson.

For its part, J&J recently reiterated a commitment to tapping into innovation via partnerships. In fact, J&J device unit chief medical science and technology officer Bruce Rosengard recently stressed "bidirectional" partnerships in the conglomerate's efforts, such as the deal it did with Google on surgical robotics, in an interview with FierceMedicalDevices.

The Fogarty-Ethicon alignment offers J&J the ability to routinely interact with promising early device innovators, while the incubator gains financial support as well as access and resources for its entrepreneurs. Obviously, both parties are likely hoping this deal will bear further strategic plans--including potential financings, partnerships and deals.

Next year, the pair expect to launch a joint curriculum on medical device development to offer to Fogarty entrepreneurs.

"This is an exciting partnership with Ethicon and an important step towards advancing medical innovation," said Fogarty President and CEO Ann Fyfe in a statement. "Support from world-class med tech leaders like Ethicon provides strong validation of our mission and approach, and we greatly appreciate the expertise they will share with our innovators."

She concluded, "Today, more than ever before, early stage med tech companies are challenged to bring their products to market while facing a tough regulatory and funding environment. … We are looking forward to a long-term partnership."

- here is the announcement