Johnson & Johnson opens incubator to accelerate early stage research

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

The lobby of JLABS @ TMC, the new life sciences incubator from Johnson & Johnson Innovation LCC, in Houston's Texas Medical Center. (PRNewsFoto/Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC)
The lobby of JLABS @ TMC, the new life sciences incubator from Johnson & Johnson Innovation LCC, in Houston's Texas Medical Center. (PRNewsFoto/Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC)

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The new Houston-based facility will support early stage research for several start-up companies.

Today, Johnson & Johnson Innovation​ opens its doors to JLABS @ TMC (Texas Medical Center), a new 34,000-square foot life sciences incubator, which provides entrepreneurs with shared lab space, private offices, and modular laboratory suites.

JLABS supports entrepreneurs by helping overcome common barriers to discovery and development, such as the large amount of upfront investment of time and money that is necessary to establish labs and other infrastructure​,” Melinda Richter, head of JLABS told

By joining JLABS, small companies gain access to the benefits of a big corporation within a capital-efficient, entrepreneurial, high-energy, think-tank environment, all with no-strings attached​.”

The facility also features equipment and operational, education, and business services, with room to accommodate up to 50 startups. The lab opened today with 21 companies, including four from the JLABS Quick Fire Challenge, which awarded promising, early-stage companies a yearlong residency at the facility free of charge.

The flexible platform allows startups to get up and running quickly by providing access to state-of-the-art facilities, including research labs, equipment and modular wet lab units, as well as operation and business services teams that enable companies to focus on the science​,” added Richter

To join the JLABS, companies must apply before being reviewed by a selection committee.

Companies should be targeting an important unmet medical need and are reviewed for sound management approach​,” explained Richter. However, participants range across various sectors, including pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer health.

Our goal is to provide support to Houston life science startups to help them successfully navigate from concept and commercialization​,” she added.

The company will continue to collaborate with TMC and other organizations in the area, including academic and investment communities. 

We are extremely pleased at the demand JLABS has experienced to date, which we believe speaks to the need for this support,​” said Richter.

According to the company, to date, 29 JLABS companies have established new strategic relationships with Johnson & Johnson or Janssen, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Additionally, in keeping with their “no-strings attached” policy, several companies have formed strategic relationships with other pharmaceutical companies.

In fact, many JLABS residents have secured funding through grants or Series A funding, and more than 20 companies have moved out into independent lab facilities.

JLABS @ TMC is the fifth JLABS facility to open in the US. The flagship facility is located in San Diego, with other locations in San Francisco, Boston, and a Toronto, Canada facility that will open this spring.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation has also expanded its collaboration with PerkinElmer to a second site. In addition to JLABS @SSF, the company worked with with PerkinElmer to provide JLABS @ TMC residents with lab instruments, software, training, and on-site technical support. 

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