- Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS and BARDA reinforce their joint commitment to global pandemic preparedeness efforts by supporting innovators whose solutions aim to protect against respiratory pathogens and disease causing agents.
- New award will provide up to $200,000, mentoring and network building.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 15, 2019 — Today, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) and Janssen Research & Development, LLCin collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced Air99 as the awardee of the Reimagining Respiratory Protection QuickFire Challenge and also launched the Invisible Shield QuickFire Challenge.
Air99 will receive $100,000 in funding from BARDA, access to the JLABS ecosystem and mentoring to aid in the development of their innovative respirator designed with the aim to fit, look and work better than conventional pollution and face masks.
“At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we recognize the growing unmet need around infectious disease prevention and protection. Developing technologies to shield against respiratory pathogens can have an individual and global impact. A breakthrough solution not only has the potential to save one life, but in doing so can protect a whole community from an outbreak,” said Sally Allain, Head of JLABS @ Washington, DC, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS. She joined Rick Bright, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Director of BARDA to make the announcements at BARDA Industry Day, where the public and private sectors convene to advance health security efforts for the protection of the nation and people around the globe.
According to the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessement by the U.S. Intelligence Community, the frequency and diversity of disease outbreaks have steadily increased since 1980. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response cites an increasing number of immunocompromised and/or unvaccinated people, global mobility, and antibiotic resistance as contributing factors to a heightened threat of infectious disease. New solutions that are suitable for all populations and ages and can easily integrate into every day life are needed to protect individuals and communities.
Reinforcing their joint commitment to global pandemic preparedeness, JLABS and BARDA also announced a new QuickFire Challenge. The Invisible Shield QuickFire Challenge invites visionaries to submit ideas for potential solutions that repel and protect against airborne viruses while integrating seamlessly into everyday life. The innovator(s) with the best idea will be awarded up to $200,000 in funding, access to the JLABS ecosystem and support in developing their ideas from BARDA for one year, to advance health security products and technologies as they navigate research, development and regulatory pathways.
“Our partnership with BARDA on the Invisible Shield QuickFire Challenge deepens our engagement with experts and start-up innovators working on the frontlines combatting 21st century health threats.” said Melinda Richter, Global Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS.
As part of the JLABS @ Washington, DC opening in the nation’s capital in late 2020, BARDA will maintain a specialized innovation zone dedicated to the advancement of medical countermeasures aimed at securing our nation from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, as well as from pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases. The innovation zone will provide residency for emerging companies focused on developing solutions to improve the speed and effectiveness of a medical countermeasures response to emerging pathogens and health security threats.
“Our interconnected world demands that we all work together to prepare and protect our communities against public health emergencies,” added Bright. “Our ongoing collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation through the QuickFire Challenge program and JLABS @ Washington, DC, is a shining example of how the public and private sectors have come together to accelerate innovative research and development efforts that address evolving health security threats and our ability to effectively respond to help save lives in times of crisis.”
The QuickFire Challenge is managed by JLABS, a global network of open innovation ecosystems, enabling and empowering innovators across a broad healthcare spectrum to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to patients around the world.
For more information about the QuickFire Challenges, please visit: https://jlabs.jnjinnovation.com/quickfire-challenges.
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