Johnson & Johnson Opens Innovation Lab at MaRS in Toronto

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The Ontario Government, University of Toronto, and MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) today announced a collaboration with Janssen Inc. to launch the successful Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS incubator model in Toronto.

The new facility, called JLABS @ Toronto, will open in spring of 2016 at MaRS Discovery District and will support startups with lab space, programs, and potential investment partners as they work to build important, successful early-stage companies.

“Toronto is home to a vibrant and prolific healthcare and life sciences community led by academic hospitals, world-class research institutions, top scientists, and a strong start-up ecosystem. For these reasons, Toronto is a natural choice for our first international expansion of JLABS,” said Melinda Richter, Head of JLABS.

“The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has long been active within the Toronto Ontario community, forming many important collaborations. Today we are pleased to begin an even deeper relationship with this important community. Our new location, within a University of Toronto site, close to our hospital collaborators, and neighbouring the financial centre of Canada, will deliver great opportunities and impact for emerging biomedical technology entrepreneurs.”

As the first JLABS to open outside the United States, JLABS @ Toronto joins a network of life science facilities that are based throughout the United States in San Diego (flagship), San Francisco, South San Francisco, Boston and Houston. These facilities are home to over 100 early-stage companies advancing bio/pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and digital health programs. JLABS @ Toronto will be located at MaRS Discovery District, occupying one floor of the West Tower.

“The arrival of JLABS will significantly expand the resources and networks available to the health and life sciences community at MaRS and in the region,” said Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District.” The timing is perfect. Our research pipeline is strong and we now have a critical mass of high calibre young companies that are ready to take their transformative technologies and health solutions to global markets. They need access to talent, partners, customers and capital. Toronto’s time is now.”

Construction of JLABS @ Toronto will begin in 2015, and is expected to be ready for occupancy by spring 2016. Over the coming months, best practices pioneered at other JLABS will be adopted to accelerate the impact and success of this new collaboration.

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