Janssen launches three research platforms

New focus on disease prevention and interception, and the microbiome to propel scientific innovation

Janssen Research & Development, a Johnson & Johnson company, has launched three research platforms focused on disease prevention, disease interception and the microbiome — areas of transformational medical innovation that are set to change the healthcare landscape.

The new teams will collaborate closely with Janssen's five therapeutic areas as well as external partners to underpin ongoing research and drive scientific knowledge in these areas of significant potential to change the way diseases are managed.

‘The future of healthcare will increasingly depend on identifying and correctly interpreting the earliest signals of disease susceptibility, preventing or intercepting disease before it even begins, and using the latest scientific insights from promising, emerging fields — such as the microbiome — to transform medicine,’ said Dr William N. Hait, Global Head of Janssen Research & Development. 'By advancing science in these areas, our new research platforms will strive to deliver the next generation of transformational medical innovation.’

The Janssen Prevention Center will focus on the prevention of chronic, non-communicable diseases such as Alzheimer's, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases, which increasingly affect ageing populations and burden healthcare systems globally. ‘To make a difference in these and other major areas of unmet medical need, our goal is to identify and research innovative solutions to extend people's healthy life span and compress morbidity,’ said Dr Jaap Goudsmit, Global Head, Janssen Prevention Center.

The Disease Interception Accelerator is a new, incubator-like group based in the US that addresses the root causes of disease. ‘Disease interception will intervene earlier than today's clinically accepted point of diagnosis and seek solutions that stop, reverse or inhibit progression to that disease, for instance type 1 diabetes or various forms of cancer,’ explained Dr Benjamin Wiegand, Global Head, Disease Interception Accelerator. ‘Using this novel approach, we aim to predict and pre-empt an individual from progressing to disease before they get sick.’

The Janssen Human Microbiome Institute focuses on an emerging area of science that is increasingly recognised to play a crucial role in human health. ‘By better understanding the microbiome, the diverse population of bacteria living in and on the human body, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of its role in disease and find new therapies to address major autoimmune diseases and other conditions for which no sufficient treatment options exist today,’ said Dr Dirk Gevers, Global Head of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute.

'In most parts of the world, people live longer today than ever before. They are increasingly likely to spend years or even decades of their lives in poor health. There is a huge individual and socioeconomic need for strategies to prevent illnesses associated with aging or lifestyle,' said Dr Hait. ‘As one of the world's leading healthcare companies, it is our responsibility to drive innovation which makes a difference to patients and ensures the long-term sustainability of healthcare systems.’