Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC. announced that it intends to expand J-Labs (formerly Janssen Labs) and include a new incubator branch at Texas Medical Center’s (TMC) recently-launched Innovation Institute. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, J-Labs will feature a 30,000-square foot facility that will accommodate up to 50 life science startups.
The announcement was part of a presentation at the Texas FreshAIR annual conference, an initiative designed to create partnerships between the University of Texas (UT) System and the life sciences industry. UT operates numerous research and clinical care facilities within TMC, which recently opened a new program, the Texas Medical Center accelerator (TMCx), to offer support to entrepreneurs and help develop early-stage companies.
J-Labs is a network of life science incubators that provide emerging companies with the perks of being part of a big company with capital support. J-labs allows companies to pay only for the space they need, and they do not interfere with any stake or rights in the companies; also, companies are not obliged to have any kind of guaranteed future affiliation with J-Labs. Already a success in California and Boston, the new J-Labs initiative in Houston will work under the no-strings-attached approach as well. Instead of formal ties, the relationship between the incubator and start-ups is based on a “gentlemen’s agreement” to accelerate outcomes that might solve unmet needs for patients whose lives and health depend on successful, cutting-edge research.
“As one of the top global biotechnology clusters, and home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, Houston is a flourishing life science hub in which we see great potential for an incubator to enable the talented scientists in the region to take their innovation to the next level (…) The continued demand for our J-Labs model fueled our decision to expand with J-Labs at TMC, which furthers our goal of helping entrepreneurs advance science with the potential to become transformational solutions for patients,” said Melinda Richter, head of J-Labs and part of Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
Regardless of the location, Johnson & Johnson Innovation searches for excellence in science and technology to solve unmet medical and healthcare needs. J-Labs at TMC will unify regional entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s resources by offering access to services, funding possibilities, educational events and meetings, and other services.
According to Robert C. Robbins, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Texas Medical Center, “The arrival of J-Labs at TMC creates a resource-rich environment that will not only support new startups fueled by the numerous medical and research institutes in the region, but will also be attractive to investors and entrepreneurs in the strong Texas life science industry (…) We look forward to launching the life science incubator in our space with J-Labs and supporting their efforts to help bring innovation in the region to market.”