Shanghai, the Next Global Innovation Hub

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At Johnson & Johnson, we believe that a great idea can come from anywhere. Now, more than ever, I believe some of those big ideas will without a doubt come from the innovators and inventors in China.

Last week, I had the privilege of participating in the Grand Opening of our new Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS site located in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong District in Shanghai. Since our program’s inception in 2012, we’ve launched and fostered locations across the globe, from the United States and Canada, to Europe, and now our largest site in the Asia Pacific region. With each new addition, I always feel the same sense of inspiration, hope and momentum towards our mission to create the leading global innovation network aimed at generating transformational healthcare solutions for patients and consumers worldwide. It’s hard to imagine, but in this short time, we now have more than 540 companies in our expanding JLABS ecosystem!

Shanghai is the perfect breeding ground for new ideas. The opportunities in China seem endless, which is why it makes perfect sense for our newest JLABS location.

The opening of JLABS @ Shanghai is a milestone moment in the JLABS journey and many of our new resident companies will take a hard look at the specific healthcare challenges faced by communities in the region, including cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes.

Globally, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. Lung cancer deaths in China are relatively high compared to most countries, and it is projected that lung cancer deaths in China may increase by approximately 40% between 2015 and 2030.[1] Recognizing this major health problem, in June 2018 we launched the Lung Cancer Innovation QuickFire Challenge to focus on the prevention, interception and curing of lung cancer. As part of our Grand Opening, we announced the awardees of the Challenge. These three companies, DNX Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., Hawkeye Bio and NE Scientific LLC are now part of our residency and will further their work to continue to tackle this disease.

However, we must collectively continue to address this massive scale health risk to our global well-being. To start, JLABS @ Shanghai is committed to supporting the Chinese government’s Healthy China 2030 initiative, which includes the applaudable goal to reduce the population of smokers and to increase the overall five-year survival rate of patients suffering from all forms of cancer.   

So, how do we do it? I can tell you from what I experienced last week, we are on our way. We were grateful to welcome distinguished members of the Shanghai Municipal Government, Pudong New Area Government, many of my wonderful colleagues from within Johnson & Johnson, a flurry of inspirational speakers, and of course our newest start-up company partners to our largest, world-class 4,400-square-meter facility. JLABS @ Shanghai is their new home.

Each of these leaders in health and science is committed to doing their part with the aim to improve the health and wellness of individuals, families, and communities worldwide. You can learn more about the 31 start-up companies joining the JLABS family and the complex health topics each of them is hoping to tackle here.

I am very excited about what the future holds for JLABS @ Shanghai and the entrepreneurs this facility will support, and ultimately the patients we aim to serve. JLABS @ Shanghai aims to be a gateway to healthcare innovation for Asia and the world.

To be a part of the action on the ground in Shanghai, be sure to take a look at some of the video highlights from our Grand Opening events, and please keep watch for our next updates on our new residents’ potential successes!

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[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312841/