Johnson & Johnson has unveiled a dozen deals secured by its new innovation centres that cover new approaches for cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's, as well as 3-D printing for trauma use, cardiac remodelling and probiotics for skin infections.

Launched more than a year ago to much fanfare, the J&J Innovation Centres work with life science researchers and entrepreneurs “to identify exciting early-stage technologies and translate them into solutions for patients”. Around 60 such pacts have been entered into to date and the healthcare giant has shone a light in 12 recent R&D collaborations arranged by its hubs in Boston, California and London (a fourth office, in Shanghai, currently houses a small scientific team and will officially open this year to develop alliances across the Asia Pacific region).

The collaborations include a lymphoma pact with Weill Cornell Medical College, an immunotherapy prostate cancer deal with Aduro BioTech (in which J&H has also bought a stake) and the licensing of an insomnia drug from Minerva Neurosciences. J&J is also participating in the UK Dementias Research Platform which has just been launched and has invested in Rodin Therapeutics, which is finding epigenetic modulators for the treatment of cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer's.

J&J has also established a collaboration with Energesis Pharmaceuticals which is identifying biological compounds that stimulate the formation of brown fat for use in treating metabolic diseases, and has made an equity investment in Navitor Pharmaceuticals which is exploring the mTORC1 pathway to develop therapies for diabetes, as well as in the autoimmune, musculoskeletal and other disease areas.

Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer, said that “the future of healthcare will be defined by companies, academic institutions and governments that collaborate to leverage existing strengths, while at the same time think outside current paradigms and experiment with new ways of innovating”. He added that “by being where these new frontiers in science and technology are being forged, our goal is to translate these insights into promising treatments”, saying that J&J wants to “enrich the life science ecosystem on a global scale by redefining the R&D paradigm”.