J&J Opens its JLABS @ NYC Business Incubator With 26 Companies in Place
Published: Jun 22, 2018 By Alex Keown
After waiting with bated breath, Johnson & Johnson Innovation finally opened its New York City JLABS facility with 26 resident companies, including the four winners of the JLABS @ NYC QuickFire Challenge.
The 30,000 square-foot biotech incubator opened in in the heart of SoHo at the nonprofit New York Genome Center. The facility is a collaboration between J&J Innovation, the state of New York and the New York Genome Center. With 26 resident companies in place, JLABS @ NYC is near capacity. The facility has space to accommodate 30 startup companies.
The four winners of winners of the JLABS @ NYC QuickFire Challenge are Lab11 Therapeutics LLC, Lab11 Therapeutics LLC, a startup biotech company developing host-targeting, small molecule, broad spectrum, anti-viral drugs. The company’s first target indication is influenza A virus; Manhattan Biosolutions. That company’s lead platform is based on the safe, attenuated BCG bacteria targeting mutated cancer driver genes to induce innate and adaptive cancer-specific immune responses; Sapience Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing peptide-based therapeutics that inhibit oncogenic and immune-modulatory protein-protein interactions; and Mobile Sense Technologies, Inc., a digital health technology company providing foundational technology enabling off-the-chest medical wearables for long-term management of cardiac arrhythmias. Each of the winners received one year of residence in JLABS @ NYC, which provides each company with access to a bench, workstation and the global JLABS community.
Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, said opening a JLABS site in New York City will “link entrepreneurs around the region with Johnson & Johnson Innovation experts.” That, he said, will allow for a collaborative working environment that will benefit healthcare.
Cheryl Moore, president and chief operations officer of the New York Genome Center, said the addition of the JLABS facility will strengthen the city’s life science sector. She said the genome center’s work to translate genomic research into new diagnostic tools and treatments for diseases is in “perfect harmony with JLABS' vision of providing a platform to support emerging companies.”
Melinda Richter, Global Head of JLABS at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, said New York City is home to “some of the greatest minds in scientific innovation” who have the skills and spirit to make an impact in healthcare.
"JLABS provides those innovators the environment they need to deliver life-enhancing, life-saving solutions to the people who need them. By opening up vital industry connections, entrepreneurial programs and a capital-efficient, flexible platform to help alleviate the cost burden that typically slows or kills innovation, we know NYC will light up our world,” Richter said in a statement.
Johnson & Johnson has opened a number of its JLABS sites across North America, as well as Europe and Asia. Sites in North America include San Diego, San Francisco, South San Francisco, Boston, Lowell, Mass., Houston and Toronto. There is also a JLABS in Beerse, Belgium and Shanghai. To date, the JLABS facilities have incubated more than 370 companies.
The JLABS @ NYC marks the third biotech incubator to have opened in New York City within the last year. Last year Alexandria LaunchLabs, located at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, became the first biotech incubator to launch in New York City. In December another incubator, BioLabs@NYULangone opened in the Big Apple.
There are additional plans for more life science space in New York. Last summer The New York Life Sciences and Biotechnology Center announced plans to construct a building that will provide 1.35 million square feet of “state of the art” space for life science companies. The building is expected to include flexible wet and dry laboratory space as well as build to suit Class A offices. Construction has been planned to begin this year.