With R&D becoming more complex and costly, the barriers to entry for new companies are growing ever higher. Johnson & Johnson Innovation aims to find novel ways – including new partnership models - of advancing the most promising early-stage science. Incubators can be one way to nurture innovations from research laboratories from early concept into transformational products.
Last year, we announced the formation of FutuRx – a biotech incubator in Israel that was established by Johnson & Johnson Innovation -JJDC in collaboration with OrbiMed Israel, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy in Israel. FutuRx represented the first dedicated biotech incubator and joined expertise from government, pharmaceutical and venture capital partners in a unique platform to advance new companies not only with leveraged funding, but also with strategic advice from both venture capital and pharmaceutical development experts.
FutuRx is expected to house 30-40 companies over the course of the next eight years and has just welcomed its first two companies:
- Hepy Bioscience Inc. a company that is seeking to develop a new drug candidate to inhibit enzyme activity and stop tumour growth and metastasis in numerous oncology indications, with an emphasis on pancreatic and lung cancers.
- XoNovo Inc. a company that is developing a drug candidate targeting a protein implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases; including Alzheimer’s and Batten disease – a rare austosomal recessive disorder that first manifests in childhood.
The facility is located in the Ness Ziona Science Park, and will provide innovators with access to infrastructure, pharmaceutical expertise and insights: the start-up companies will all benefit from access to a scientific advisory board composed of representatives from the three industry partners, and will be selected to set-up residence in the facility based on the transformational potential of their technology and science across all therapeutic areas.
Dr. Einat Zisman, CEO of FutuRx notes “We are pleased to reach this exciting milestone that brings the first two – of what we hope will be many – new companies into FutuRx to advance potentially transformative new medicines. Through a strong collaboration amongst the incubator management team, industry and government partners, we are able source and help advance some of the most promising science in the region.”
FutuRx is one of several Johnson & Johnson Innovation offerings to support the formation of new companies around the world. We look forward to welcoming more companies into FutuRx in the near future and encourage entrepreneurs, researchers, academic institutions and small companies to explore FutuRx as a home for their technologies.