Three-year collaboration to catalyze novel science and technology solutions to expand healthy longevity and eliminate diseases around the world
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ, April 15, 2019 — Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC today announced the signing of a sponsorship agreement with the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) to be the principal corporate partner of the Healthy Logevity Catalyst Awards in the United States. Part of the Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge founded by the NAM, the Catalyst Awards are a global prize competition to launch later this year, designed to stimulate innovation to transform the field of healthy longevity. The program will culminate in one or more Healthy Longevity Grand Prizes for major breakthroughs in increasing human healthspan.
“At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we’re working to change the trajectory of health for humanity. In addition to developing effective treatments, our ‘World Without Disease’ vision is to increasingly eliminate diseases through prevention, disease interception in its earliest forms and cures,” said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Johnson & Johnson External Innovation, Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC. “Our goals are closely aligned with the NAM’s Grand Challenge. A great idea can come from anywhere, and we are proud to partner with the NAM to catalyze new cross-disciplinary ideas and innovation that we believe will ultimately lead to novel solutions for aging in freedom from debilitating disease.”
Dramatic breakthroughs in medicine, public health and social and economic development have resulted in unprecedented extensions of the human lifespan in many parts of the world over the past century. This demographic shift provides new opportunities as well as new challenges. Today, 8.5% of people worldwide (617 million) are aged 65 and over. By 2050, this percentage is projected to more than double, reaching 1.6 billion. The global population of people aged 80 and over is expected to more than triple between 2015 and 2050, growing from 126 million to 447 million.
At the current pace, population aging is poised to impose a significant strain on economies, health systems and social structures worldwide. “But it doesn’t have to,” said Victor Dzau, M.D., President, National Academy of Medicine. “Just over the horizon, we can envision new medicines, technologies, preventive and social strategies to transform the way we age and ensure better health, function and productivity during a period of extended longevity.”
“Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s commitment to a ‘World Without Disease’ aligns perfectly with the NAM’s goal to extend the human healthspan globally and equitably, and I am grateful for their partnership on this important initiative. With its deep knowledge of the entire spectrum of human health, Johnson & Johnson Innovation is uniquely positioned to help advance the most promising innovations. I am confident that, by joining forces, we can accelerate breakthrough innovations that will transform the field and change the way we think about aging forever,” Dzau added.
The NAM Grand Challenge will roll out over three distinct phases and employ a tiered model of awards and prizes to stimulate new research and solutions around healthy longevity. Under the agreement, Johnson & Johnson Innovation will provide funding for the foundational Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards in the U.S., to identify innovative, entrepreneurial proposals that have the greatest chance of being translatable into solutions to prevent, intercept and/or cure disease or deficits related to aging.
In a separate, parallel effort, upon reaching a certain number of global NAM Catalyst Award winners, Johnson & Johnson Innovation will launch a series of QuickFire Challenge (QFC) idea crowd-sourcing competitions open exclusively to Catalyst Award winners, to support the further development of their ideas, help them compete for the ultimate NAM Healthy Longevity Grand Prize and bring their innovations to market. QFC winners typically receive funding and/or benefit from world-class lab facilities, business services, educational and mentorship support at one of currently 13 Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS facilities around the world.
“At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we believe good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress. That’s why for over 130 years we have been aiming to keep people well at every age and every stage of life,” said Hait. “We envision a world in which widespread disease is a historical artifact and people enjoy longer, healthier lives, promoted by technological and medical advances. To achieve this, we need to shift the paradigm from today’s widespread focus on ‘disease care’ – where we wait for people to get sick, to only then do something about it – towards true health care, by keeping people well in the first place, eliminating disease and restoring people to full health.”
About Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC focuses on accelerating all stages of innovation worldwide and forming collaborations between entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson’s global healthcare businesses. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with one-stop access to science and technology experts who can facilitate collaborations across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer companies of Johnson & Johnson. Under the Johnson & Johnson Innovation umbrella of businesses, we connect with innovators through our regional Innovation Centers; Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS; Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.; and our business development teams to create customized deals and novel collaborations that speed development of innovations to solve unmet needs in patients. JLABS provides the laboratories, expertise, education, tools and resources needed to help life science startups thrive, all with no strings attached. A Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center (CDI @ TMC) has been established to accelerate the development of medical devices. For more information about Johnson & Johnson Innovation, please visit: www.jnjinnovation.com.
About Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS
Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) is a global network of open innovation ecosystems, enabling and empowering innovators across a broad healthcare spectrum including pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health tech sectors to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to patients around the world. JLABS achieves this by providing the optimal environment for emerging companies to catalyze growth and optimize their research and development by opening them to vital industry connections, delivering entrepreneurial programs and providing a capital-efficient, flexible platform where they can transform the scientific discoveries of today into the breakthrough healthcare solutions of tomorrow. At JLABS, we value great ideas and are passionate about removing obstacles to success to help innovators unleash the potential of their early scientific discoveries. JLABS is a no-strings-attached model, which means entrepreneurs are free to develop their science while holding on to their intellectual property. JLABS also produces campaigns to seek out the best science called QuickFire Challenges. For more information, visit www.jlabs.jnjinnovation.com or follow @JLABS.
Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the collaboration with the National Academy of Medicines. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the potential that the expected benefits and opportunities related to the collaboration may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected; challenges inherent in new product development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and obtaining regulatory approvals; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; uncertainty of commercial success for new products; the ability of the company to successfully execute strategic plans; impact of business combinations and divestitures; challenges to patents; changes in behavior and spending patterns or financial distress of purchasers of health care products and services; and global health care reforms and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, including in the sections captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” in the company’s most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and the company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at www.sec.gov, www.jnj.com or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Neither Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.
 The National Academy of Medicine, data on file