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Immunology Innovations QuickFire Challenge: Precision Medicine in Immune-Mediated Disease

46 days remaining

Grant funding from a total of up to $500,000

Nearly 4% of the world’s population is affected by one of more than 80 different autoimmune diseases, according to the National Stem Cell Foundation, and incidence is rising.

However, of the 30 million patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe forms of chronic immune diseases, only 5 million receive advanced therapies and only 2 million experience adequate responses.[1] A key barrier to the development of novel therapies and treatment paradigms has been the complexity and heterogeneity of these diseases, which consist of different disease states with distinct unmet medical need and biology. [2]

Through scientific advances in the understanding of disease pathophysiology in different tissues and organs and the identification of biomarkers for mechanistic stratification, we might be able to develop new medicines with mechanisms of action tailored to differentiated patient populations.

To inspire these precision medicine innovations, Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC, together with Janssen Research & Development LLC, is launching the Immunology Innovations QuickFire Challenge. Innovators with transformative potential solutions to help or aim to advance precision medicine approaches in immune-mediated disease are invited to apply.

Specific disease areas of focus for this challenge include gastroenterology, rheumatology, dermatology, fetal-maternal diseases, autoantibody-mediated diseases, and other immune-mediated diseases where a stratified approach has the potential to be transformational for patients.

The innovator(s) with the best idea, therapy or technology, or novel approach will receive up to a total of $500,000 in grant funding, access to the global Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (‘JLABS’) network and mentorship from experts across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

Rewards

Grant funding from a total of up to $500,000
  • One year of residency at an available JLABS with the use of a bench, workstation and access to the global JLABS ecosystem for one year – including access to resources, educational programming, networking, and amplification opportunities, as well as the potential to be considered for future opportunities like research collaborations, NewCos, etc

  • Mentorship from experts across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies

 

* Subject to the execution of the necessary agreements and documentation

Areas of Interest

Innovators with transformative potential solutions to help or aim to advance precision medicine approaches in immune-mediated diseases are invited to apply. This may include:

  • Novel approaches toward patient stratification and precision medicine that can be harnessed in immune-mediated diseases including:
    • Multidimensional biomarker discovery platforms, including those with AI/ML based analytics
    • Deep patient clinical and molecular phenotyping data sets
    • Novel biomarkers for patient segmentation including digital and imaging biomarkers
  • Novel therapies with clear precision medicine strategy to address a defined patient segment
  • Enabling technologies for clinical trials:
    • Potential solutions aiming to identify and recruit specific patient sub-populations
    • Potential solutions aiming to resolve technical issues associated with large scale PBMC collection and preparation for multiomics analysis
    • High dimensional blood immune profiling platforms (e.g., cellular, autoantibodies, complement, proteomics, exosomes, mass spec)
    • Tissue based single cell RNA sequencing

Specific disease areas of focus for this challenge include gastroenterology, rheumatology, dermatology, fetal-maternal diseases, autoantibody-mediated diseases, and other immune-mediated diseases areas where a stratified approach has the potential to be transformational for patients.

Criteria

Potential solutions will be evaluated by a panel of reviewers on their ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Uniqueness of the idea
  • Potential impact on human health, with a specific focus on inclusive innovations
  • Feasibility of the idea
  • Thoroughness of approach
  • Identification of key resources and a plan to further the idea

Why this challenge matters to us

At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we believe a good idea can come from anywhere, and it’s our goal to find innovative health solutions that aim to improve health around the world. Working together, we can spark the next great idea that can potentially shape the future of immunology.

Apply Now

Submit your idea today! 


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FAQs

What if I’m having trouble accessing the portal/website?

Make sure your browser is up to date and accepting cookies. You can contact customer service at [email protected] if you are having technical difficulties as well.

Can I submit supporting documents (for example a video) as part of my application?

You will have the opportunity and are encouraged to upload supporting materials such as slide decks, research papers, and videos as part of your application. You may submit a video along with your typed responses. Maximum length is 2 minutes.

Is it ok if some of the information I submit is confidential?

Do not submit confidential information. Only non-confidential information should be submitted and anything you submit will be treated as non-confidential.

What happens with IP (Intellectual Property)?

As this is a no strings attached arrangement, JLABS does not acquire any IP.  Any IP creation and/or protection remains the sole responsibility of the inventors.

 Is a patent required to apply?

No, a patent is not required to apply.  However, you should not submit any information that you wish to keep confidential or that may negatively impact upon the future patentability of your invention.

What kind of science / technology is appropriate for the Challenges?

We encourage all to apply. Find out more about what areas we desire to explore here: https://www.jnjinnovation.com/partnering

Who is eligible to apply?

Each Challenge has its own terms & conditions that can be found prior to filling out the application.

What are the specific criteria for application?

Potential solutions will be evaluated by a panel of reviewers and judges on their ability to meet the following:

 

  • Novel approaches toward patient stratification and precision medicine that can be harnessed in immune-mediated diseases including:
    • Multidimensional biomarker discovery platforms, including those with AI/ML based analytics
    • Deep patient clinical and molecular phenotyping data sets
    • Novel biomarkers for patient segmentation including digital and imaging biomarkers
  • Novel therapies with clear precision medicine strategy to address a defined patient segment
  • Enabling technologies for clinical trials:
    • Potential solutions aiming to identify and recruit specific patient sub-populations
    • Potential solutions aiming to resolve technical issues associated with large scale PBMC collection and preparation for multiomics analysis
    • High dimensional blood immune profiling platforms (e.g., cellular, autoantibodies, complement, proteomics, exosomes, mass spec)
    • Tissue based single cell RNA sequencing

Who can I contact if I have questions about the Challenge or the application process?

Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

Where do I apply? And do I have to complete the application in one sitting?

Go to https://jnjquickfire.secure-platform.com to learn more. From there you will be directed to set up an account.

How long should application responses be?

While there are no specific word count requirements, we recommend that applicants answer each question thoroughly but succinctly, ensuring consideration of any prompts provided within the application.

 

Applicants also have the ability to upload a non-confidential executive summary and the option to add a non-confidential supporting slide deck, and/or brief video to your application. While these are not required, we recommend adding any non-confidential available materials that aid in communicating a potential solution including pictures, graphs, etc..

How long is the award period?

The award period is one year.

How can grant funding be utilized?

Applicants are asked to detail their intended use of funds as part of that QuickFire Challenge application and how they anticipate the funds will accelerate their solution forward to achieve the milestones outlined in their application.  The grant funding must be used solely for the legitimate advancement of the innovative solution as described in the QuickFire Challenge application.  For the avoidance of doubt, below is a non-exhaustive list of impermissible uses of the grant funding:

  • Brick and mortar costs
  • Lobbying, including but not limited to, grass roots lobbying
  • Provisions of healthcare services (e.g. direct patient engagement via a telehealth service)
  • Pass throughs to healthcare providers and/or government officials/employees (e.g. used for the salary of an HCP)
  • Payment towards past development activities (e.g. payment of business loan)
     

There are no specific rates or percentages that are allowable or not allowable with regards to overhead, etc.  That said, all applications are evaluated on the impact the funds will have and milestone achievements.  A progress report including details about the use of funds is required at the conclusion of the award period.

What types of submissions are you interested in?

We are interested in tangible innovations at a variety of stages – including ideation, prototyping, piloting, and commercial launches. Submissions should align to our areas of focus and not be limited to academic research projects.

Timeline

September 29, 2021
Applications open
January 14, 2022
Submission deadline
2022
Award Announcement

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC works across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer health sectors to accelerate early-stage, transformational solutions by catalyzing the best ideas, wherever they are in the world. We do this by harnessing our deep scientific capabilities coupled with a wide range of tools, including customized deal structures, company creation, incubation and startup services, capital investments and other innovative business models that aim to meet the diverse needs of entrepreneurs, scientists and emerging companies. Our goal is to help life science and health technology innovations thrive through collaboration and partnership with the global ecosystem, so that together we can change the trajectory of human health. Meet our passionate team of science and technology experts and learn how to collaborate with us at www.jnjinnovation.com.

About Janssen Research & Development LLC

At Janssen, we’re creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We’re the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension.

 

 

[1] Includes Atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, lupus nephritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, myositosis, amyloidosis, hidradenitis suppurativa, graft vs host disease, scleroderma, myasthenia gravis, celiac disease. Sources include Decision Resources, Kantar Health, NIH, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, BMJ, Foster Rosenblatt research, ZS Associates, Truven Claims, Deloitte research, data on file.

[2] Varadé, J., Magadán, S. & González-Fernández, Á. Human immunology and immunotherapy: main achievements and challenges. Cell Mol Immunol 18, 805–828 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41423-020-00530-6