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Standing the Test of Time in the Venture World

California
Innovation Center December 18th, 2014

Venture funds that stand the test of time know how to do two things well: they know how to pick the winners, and they know when and how to evolve their strategy to address the evolving business landscape.

As the oldest corporate venture fund in the life science industry, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation has been excellent at both. For more than 40 years we have been making investments in exciting life science innovation in order to create strategic options for J&J’s Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Diagnostic, and Consumer businesses. We’ve picked some amazing winners in that period resulting in long term strategic relationships as well as acquisitions of highly successful technologies  and  companies that have become part of J&J’s core, including Biosense and Tibotec-Virco. Over the course of that time we’ve also seen the balance of our portfolio between sectors and stages of development shift depending on the strategic focus of our company.

JJDC’s Mission continues, outlining our role in providing sources for equity investments and utilizing relationships with the private venture community to support innovation and create options in areas of strategic interest for J&J.  Our Charter outlines our role for being the equity investment and venture portfolio management arm of Johnson & Johnson, relying on its long history and deep relationships in the venture industry to deliver its mission.

This year has been an exceptional year with 40 transactions involving seed, venture rounds, fund investments and private investments in public entities. About a third of our total this year, 15 transactions, were in new investments for JJDC, including investments such as La Lumière, LLC, Protagonist Therapeutics and Bavarian Nordik A/S. The remaining transactions involved companies in which we had previously invested, including USGI Medical, Nevro, Inc, Biocartis, and ViaCyte, Inc.

As the next step in our evolution as a strategic corporate venture fund, we are adopting a new name—Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC. Our new name reflects our alignment with J&J Innovation, as well as our legacy of investing in innovation and promising science to create strategic options for our operating companies. I’m excited about this next step and about the future of JJDC as we continue to drive innovation through life science investing, working seamlessly with our colleagues to support all stages of innovation and helping to advance breakthrough new products and technologies for patients and consumers.