Johnson & Johnson opens first international JLABs site in Canada

Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC announced the opening of JLABS @ Toronto, a new 40,000-square-foot life sciences incubator, providing entrepreneurs shared lab space and offices, modular lab suites and access to scientific, industry and capital funding experts as they work to build important and successful early-stage companies.

The new JLABS facility can accommodate up to 50 startups and opens with 22 companies that represent a range of sectors including therapeutics, medical devices and consumer health solutions. This first group of resident startups includes the seven winners of the JLABS @ Toronto Quick Fire Challenge, which awards promising early-stage innovation companies with residency at the facility.

World pharma today/Press releases /-Paul Stoffels, MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson said that the expansion of JLABS into Canada helps further Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s mission to discover and advance the best science in the world that has the most potential to help patients and consumers. We are confident that JLABS @ Toronto will support a vibrant ecosystem of startups and entrepreneurs with access to the world-class expertise and technology within our global network.

JLABS supports entrepreneurs by helping them overcome common barriers to discovery and development, such as the large initial investment of time and money that is necessary to establish working labs and other business infrastructures. JLABS @ Toronto builds on the successful JLABS model and is the sixth JLABS facility to open and the first outside of the United States.

“Ontario is one of North America’s leading centres for life sciences research,” said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. “Our government’s partnership in the first JLABS in Canada will support an exciting new wave of startups, create good jobs and strengthen Ontario’s position as a hub of the knowledge-economy.”

JLABS @ Toronto is located at MaRS Discovery District and is a collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC, the University of Toronto, MaRS Discovery District, Janssen Inc., MaRS Innovation and the Government of Ontario, and includes the following hospital partners: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Hospital for Sick Children, Sinai Health System, St. Michael’s Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and University Health Network.

“Our government’s partnership with JLABS @ Toronto builds on our efforts to move Ontario to the forefront of innovation, while creating a more diverse economic climate,” said the Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.

JLABS @ Toronto will feature a device and digital prototype lab that will provide entrepreneurs access to highly specialized tools, as well as skill-building programs to design and develop smart health technologies.

Resident companies at JLABS @ Toronto also have the opportunity to collaborate with IBM Canada to access its entrepreneurship programs and services, including IBM Watson cognitive business technology and IBM Bluemix cloud-based development platform.

“We are thrilled to be part of the flourishing life sciences community in Toronto and to contribute to Ontario’s vision to help drive the province toward becoming a world leader in innovation for health and wellness,” said Melinda Richter, Head of JLABS. “Canada’s startup scene is booming, and we look forward to working with the many enterprising innovators in the region that are working to turn science into tangible, commercial products.”

JLABS @ Toronto joins a network of JLABS sites throughout North America in life science clusters, including San Diego (flagship), San Francisco, South San Francisco, Boston and Houston. These facilities are currently home to more than 120 early-stage companies advancing bio/pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and digital health programs. The six JLABS facilities have a total capacity for 225 resident companies.

“The welcome addition of JLABS to Ontario’s extensive network of research partners, entrepreneurs and business leaders will help further augment our province’s booming life sciences sector,” said the Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. “The collaboration between JLABS, MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto will help support great advances in this growing sector and support highly skilled jobs in Ontario for years to come.”

We’re excited to have JLABS @ Toronto join the University of Toronto as the newest addition to our vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto. “Together with our nine campus-led accelerators, under the umbrella of our Banting & Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, we’re fuelling the creation of new companies, new jobs and solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The arrival of JLABS @ Toronto will further cement our leadership position in North America.

JLABS Toronto’s arrival reflects the growing international prominence of Ontario’s life sciences sector,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation. “Early-stage companies need support from investors and industry partners at various stages of their development, but particularly in the run-up to clinical studies. Having access to JLABS and its network is a significant benefit, and we’re pleased that two companies connected to MaRS Innovation’s portfolio are moving into JLABS. We trust they will be the first of many.

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC focuses on accelerating all stages of innovation worldwide and forming collaborations between entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson’s global healthcare businesses. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with one-stop access to science and technology experts who can facilitate collaborations across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer companies of Johnson & Johnson. Under the Johnson & Johnson Innovation umbrella of businesses, we connect with innovators through our regional Innovation Centers, JLABS, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. and our Business Development teams to create customized deals and novel collaborations that speed development of innovations to solve unmet needs in patients.For more information please visit:

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies
At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at

Media Contacts:

Seema Kumar
Johnson & Johnson Innovation
+1 908 405 1144
Meghan Marschall
Johnson & Johnson Innovation
+1 201 323 0578