Johnson & Johnson Innovation has expanded its global network of research partnering hubs with the opening of the Asia Pacific Innovation Center headquartered in Shanghai with satellites in Singapore, Australia and Japan.

The Center has been established to identify and develop promising early-stage opportunities across J&J’s three key areas: pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics and consumer healthcare products.

“Our goal is to collaborate with the best minds in the region to advance new technologies and deliver transformative solutions for the people of China and Asia Pacific at large, and throughout the world," said Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer.

The firm’s Innovation Centers in London, Boston and California have already established more than 80 collaborations, including six announced today with organisations in Australia and China. 

These include: a collaboration with Janssen Australia and Queensland’s James Cook University to explore whether hook worms could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease; extension of a collaboration with Janssen Australia and University of Queensland on a spider venom project to identify peptides as potential treatments for pain; a broad collaboration with China Pharmaceutical University on several projects across its consumer and pharmaceutical businesses; an R&D pact with Janssen Research & Development and Peking University to identify agonists and antagonists for G protein-coupled receptors to help develop novel CNS medicines; and an R&D deal with Janssen Research & Development and Zhejiang University to elucidate the physiological and pathological role of human lactate receptor GPR81 in the regulation of metabolism and metabolic syndrome such as dyslipidaemia, obesity, and diabetes. 

The Asia Pacific Innovation Center will also establish a regular presence in Suzhou BioBAY, which houses more than 400 companies focused on drug discovery, biotech, IVD, medical devices and nanotech, to work with academics and entrepreneurs on a more local basis, under a wider aim of interacting more directly with life science clusters around the world.