J&J's new incubator opens its arms to med tech startups

Janssen, the biotech unit of Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), is looking beyond just pharmaceuticals with its latest life sciences incubator, seeking out medical device and diagnostics startups to fill its planned lab space.

J&J's new operation, christened Janssen Labs @South San Francisco, will be a 30,000-square-foot mix of lab and office space with room for up to 50 startups, the company said, spanning biotech, pharma, medical device, diagnostics and digital health. Much like Janssen's flagship San Diego incubator, the new facility will be staffed by some of J&J's life sciences experts and provide operational support, education and business services to its guest companies.

Since launching its home base in San Diego in 2012, Janssen Labs has expanded to host 53 life sciences companies through an outpost in Cambridge, MA, and the use of J&J's San Francisco innovation center.

Alongside a stable of biotechs, the incubator's roster includes medical device outfits Yolia Health, which is developing personalized contact lenses to treat eye disorders, and Sienna Labs, which is at work on a plasmonic resonance device to treat acne. Janssen Labs is also home to a slew of diagnostics companies, including Everist Genomics, Misfolding Diagnostics and Renascions.

The big idea at the incubator is to provide everything a startup needs in a one-stop shop for shared services, allowing scientists to keep their heads down and innovate instead of worrying about permits and clerical work, Janssen Labs head Melinda Richter said.

"Our goal is to improve the investment profile of life science companies by drastically reducing the cost and time to market," Richter said in a statement. "What started as an experiment has evolved into a proven, comprehensive model that is expanding. Ultimately, success is to bring more solutions to patients that need them."

Janssen Labs is accepting applications from startups through its website.

- here's the statement

Suggested Articles

They say you are what you eat, but scientists at Rice University and the University of Washington may be taking that maxim a step further.

Acutus secured $170 million after acquiring a catheter developer and announcing a slew of new partnerships in arrhythmia treatment and monitoring.

Tangen Biosciences, developers of cheap and portable molecular diagnostics for outside the lab, has raised $9 million to kick off its VC efforts.