Johnson & Johnson opens Asia-Pacific's first innovation arm JLABS in Shanghai |
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Johnson & Johnson opens Asia-Pacific's first innovation arm JLABS in Shanghai

By Shi Jing in Shanghai Updated: 2019-06-28


Johnson & Johnson unveils its innovation arm JLABS in Shanghai on Thursday. [Photo provided to]

Global pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer goods giant Johnson & Johnson unveiled its innovation arm JLABS in Shanghai on Thursday, which is the world's largest of its kind and the first in the Asia-Pacific.

Located in eastern Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, the 4,400-square-meter JLABS in Shanghai is able to accommodate more than 50 startups. More than half of the space is dedicated to laboratories. Shanghai Pharma Engine Co Ltd has jointly built the facility with Johnson & Johnson. But the investment amount was not disclosed.

Johnson and Johnson announced in 2017 to set up the JLABS in Shanghai. The facility completed project commissioning in April this year.


Ribbon-cutting ceremony of Johnson & Johnson's innovation arm JLABS in Shanghai on Thursday. [Photo provided to]

Up to this date, 31 companies have settled down in JLABS Shanghai, the largest number of firms registering on the first day among all the JLABS, according to Melinda Richter, global head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Of all these resident companies in Shanghai, 16 are pharmaceutical companies, 13 medical devices makers and the rest two specialize in consumer products.

Apart from Chinese domestic companies, JLABS Shanghai has also attracted those from the United States, Canada, Singapore and Belgium.

Meanwhile, JLABS Shanghai has introduced more than 20 local venture capitals to provide financing services to the resident companies. Industry big names such as ZhenFund and Matrix Partners China will come once every quarter to provide their professional advice, said Paul Stoffels, vice-chairman of the executive committee at Johnson & Johnson.


Paul Stoffels delivers a speech. [Photo provided to]

Stoffels said some of the resident pharmaceutical companies are seeing their products at the phase one or phase two of clinical trials. Some of the consumer products being developed here can be expected to enter the Chinese market next year.

JLABS is a global network of open innovation ecosystems built by Johnson & Johnson. According to JLABS 2018 Impact Report, it has secured $11.6 billion worth of financing globally in 2018, up 23 percent year-on-year. Over time, JLABS sites have been set up in San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, Lowell, Houston, Toronto, Beerse, Belgium, New York City and Washington DC, nurturing over 540 companies.