Guest post by Dirk Gevers, PhD, Global Head, Janssen Human Microbiome Institute, Janssen Research & Development, LLC
At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, we believe the microbiome holds great promise for the future of healthcare. We recognize the rapidly emerging science in this space may have application across a broad range of diseases and therefore established the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI) earlier this year. Our intent is to explore the microbiome as it may relate to our Therapeutic Areas (TAs), which include Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience and Oncology, and core disease areas of interest within each. We also seek to incorporate learnings from collaborations across Johnson & Johnson and through our Consumer and Medical Devices sectors to harness what we believe will be transformative potential of the human microbiome.
Through JHMI research centers in Beerse, Belgium, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, we will look to foster an open, collaborative network with leading experts in the field to translate science into new approaches to further understand disease triggers, and pursue therapeutic interventions and diagnostics. The creation of such an ecosystem is already underway, thanks in part to the progress of our Immunology TA. We have established relationships with the likes of Second Genome and Vedanta Biosciences, as well academic centers such as the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Michigan, the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre’s Microbiome Institute of Cork, Ireland, the University of Pennsylvania and James Cook University. We envision progressing collaborative partnerships as we advance our microbiome scientific strategy through an open innovation model, and our Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers in California, Boston, London and Shanghai provide important access to biotechs, academia and entrepreneurs in life science hotspots around the world and in support of these efforts.
Providing an entirely new way to look at drug development that has not yet been explored within the biopharmaceutical industry is incredibly exciting, and we fundamentally believe we can impact the future of disease and wellness through transformative science by matching our expertise with that of a global innovation network.