April 1st, 2014

Taking the Neglect Out of Neglected Tropical Diseases

Editor’s Note: Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels will be participating in the “Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): A Conversation on Progress” meeting in Paris on April 2-3.   

by Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson and Worldwide Chairman, Janssen

Someone once told me a story about a young boy living in a severely underdeveloped village in Africa. He couldn’t have been older than nine. But, within his immediate family, he was the only one who could see. I asked my colleague why this was – was it something genetic? “No,” my colleague replied, “Parasites.”

The boy’s family had all contracted onchocerciasis, more commonly known as river blindness. This debilitating disease occurs in sub-Saharan Africa and puts over 120 million people at risk. At least 18 million are infected, leading to 750,000 cases of impaired vision and, in extreme cases, blindness.

River blindness is just one of 17 conditions referred to as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Collectively, NTDs affect more than a billion people worldwide, most of which live in resource-poor areas.  But the growing need to combat NTDs has not been matched with resources and attention from the global health community.

But, we aim to change that.

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March 31st, 2014

Janssen Incubator: Focused on Driving Innovation in Promising New Areas

by Rob Willenbucher, M.D., Head, Janssen Incubator, Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Janssen Research & Development created an internal incubator program, known as the Janssen Incubator, which has been established to identify and nurture highly innovative ideas arising from our scientific community in areas of potentially disruptive, cutting-edge research, which may lead to novel platforms, products or technologies.  Venture teams are created under an entrepreneurial operating model and strive to incubate and deliver high-value opportunities through internal and external networks and collaborations.  These venture teams are focused on new spaces, or areas outside of the current Janssen disease focus areas, and are staffed and led by a group of our incredibly talented scientists.  I am proud to lead the Janssen Incubator and to coach and support a highly motivated group of venture leaders.

To date, the Janssen Incubator has invested in six ventures, including a team focused on the development of a system of tools and technologies that may ultimately address symptoms of autism and investigate new medicines to treat autism spectrum disorders (ASD), a collection of diseases for which therapeutic unmet needs remain high.

The Autism Knowledge Engine

Known as the Autism Knowledge Engine, this first-of-its-kind, digital, integrated system is designed to facilitate research and clinical trials for the development of novel medicines, which may ultimately help patients living with ASD. 

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March 24th, 2014

World TB Day: Be inspired and join us and others in the fight against TB

Word-TB-Day-560

Editor’s Note: This post appeared on our blog on March 24, 2014 and was subsequently removed and reposted.  It has been edited from its original version to clarify some points and remove an associated video.  

Today, March 24, marks World TB Day.

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the world’s most deadly diseases.  While many countries have effective TB programs in place, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), a particularly complicated form of TB characterized by resistance to at least two of the standard four-drug anti-TB medicines, is on the rise in many parts of the world.

Progress towards targets for diagnosis and treatment of MDR-TB are far off track. Worldwide, and in most countries with a high burden of MDR-TB, less than 25 percent of the people estimated to have MDR-TB were detected in 2012.  An estimated 170,000 people die from MDR-TB globally each year, and the WHO estimates more than two million people will develop MDR-TB between 2011 and 2015.

To change this reality the world should explore new prevention and treatment tools, improved detection and treatment programs, and the prioritization of the disease by public health authorities everywhere. Countries with a high burden of MDR-TB should recognize it as a public health crisis and address it as an emergency.

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March 17th, 2014

Doing Good in the Neighborhood

Doing-Good-In-The-Neighborhood

Editor’s note: Johnson & Johnson has more than 128,000 employees around the world.  Throughout 2014, we’re going to bring you their unique stories.  Whether they are employees who work with a nonprofit, mentor children, or simply volunteer at their local soup kitchen, we want to show that small acts of kindness can make big changes in the world we live in.  These stories have inspired us, and we hope they’ll inspire you, too.

“Those who can lead have an obligation to do so, in the realm of citizenship…”  General Robert Wood Johnson, 1949

 

Name: Frank Artayet

Position/J&J Company:  Senior Project Manager at Janssen Supply Chain

Frank Artayet

Frank Artayet, Senior Project Manager for Janssen Supply Chain, is a cyclist and fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, LiveStrong Challenge, Tour de Cure, and Bike-A-Thon events.  He also volunteers as an assistant head coach for the Valley Forge Colonials, a tier II ice hockey program in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  “Life is too short.  You must not take your community, family and friends for granted.  By volunteering in athletic events or sports, you have the opportunity of improving someone’s life, being a mentor to young athletes all while staying active and fit. 

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March 3rd, 2014

Recognizing Our Innovation: Fortune Magazine Names J&J #1 in Pharmaceuticals

By Joaquin Duato, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals and Dr. Paul Stoffels, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals and Chief Scientific Officer

At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it.  What matters most to us is a healthy outcome for each patient.  This calls for the best science, the most creative minds and an openness to collaborate with researchers, governments and patient organizations at every stage – from early discovery to market access and patient education.

Recently our focus on providing innovative therapies and services to transform the lives of patients was recognized by Fortune Magazine, which ranked Johnson & Johnson as the #1 company in the Pharmaceuticals category on its list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.  This recognition is a true testament to the people at Janssen who come to work every day with a passion and a commitment to making a difference for patients in need.

Along with our #1 position in Fortune’s Pharmaceuticals category – up from #4 last year – Johnson & Johnson improved or maintained its ranking on all nine attributes of reputation.  We now hold the #1 position on People Management, Social Responsibility, Financial Soundness, and Long Term Investment. 

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March 3rd, 2014

Reaching Animals Across the Globe

by Amanda Barbeau, Sales Administrator, DePuy Synthes Trauma

Reaching-Animals-Across-the-Globe

Caring for the world, one person at a time, is what unites and inspires the people of Johnson & Johnson.  But for some of our employees, it’s not just about caring for people – it’s about caring for our animal friends as well.  Located in West Chester, PA, the DePuy Synthes Veterinary division develops and produces devices for the surgical fixation, correction and regeneration of animal skeletons and soft tissues. DePuy Synthes Vet recently had a unique opportunity to make an impact on animals’ lives across the world.

The team partnered with In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international, non-profit organization dedicated to protect the rights, welfare and habitats of animals, to supply a life-changing donation to their Sanaya-Yong Rescue Center in Cameroon. IDA-Africa’s mission is to provide sanctuary for chimpanzee orphans in Cameroon while promoting the social and cultural conditions that ensure great apes survive and thrive in their natural habitats. The Sanaya-Yong Rescue Center is home to 74 apes, complete with a camp, education center and veterinary clinic.

One of the staff veterinarians, Dr. Gwendelyn Reyes-Illg, was introduced to one of our products at a conference training course, and quickly saw that the system met the needs of the chimpanzee rescue center in Cameroon where she spent two months of the year volunteering her time to help injured apes.

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February 27th, 2014

Breaking New Ground in the Caribbean: Improving Health in Haiti and Cuba

by Tomas Matthews, Director, Global Access & Partnerships – Latin America, Global Public Health, Janssen Pharmaceuticals

It never ceases to amaze me when I see how much can be and has been done to change health for the better, even in places where resources are few. Late last year, I had a truly unique opportunity to visit two countries only a few hundred miles from each other, yet worlds apart in their health systems and their ability to provide health care for their populations – Haiti and Cuba. The trip to Cuba was organized under a specific license from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) allowing for “People-to-People Exchanges.” Having grown up in the region, I was happy to see progress being made in key areas, particularly in the provision of care and treatment to people in need. But I was also struck by the gaps in access to care and essential medicines between the two countries.

improving health

During the course of two weeks, my colleagues and I traveled to these two countries to meet with partner organizations and to see the impact of the work of Johnson & Johnson and Janssen are doing at the local level.

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February 25th, 2014

Honoring Rare Disease Day: Spotlight on Multicentric Castleman’s Disease

by Joanne Vanak, RN, MSN; Senior Director of Medical Affairs Scientific Advocacy, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC

Rare Disease Day

Imagine living with a disease so rare it’s hard to get the proper diagnosis. Picture life as a patient with a condition so unique you can barely find a physician with the experience to treat it. Unfortunately, for the nearly 25 to 30 million Americans who suffer from one of the approximately 6,800 rare diseases recognized in the United States,[1] this uncertainty is a reality. And it’s one of the primary reasons Johnson & Johnson and Janssen remain committed to uncovering treatment options for those facing unmet medical needs.

In the United States, a disease is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans.[1] Some rare diseases affect only a fraction of that. For example, in the case of a disease called Multicentric Castleman’s disease, or MCD, the patient numbers are so low that it’s difficult to get an accurate estimate of the number of people impacted. However, based on approximate calculations, experts believe there are fewer than 2,000 Americans with this condition.[2]*

So what is MCD? It is a disorder in which lymphocytes, a certain type of white blood cells, are over-produced, causing enlargement of lymph nodes or other internal organs containing lymphoid tissue.

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February 24th, 2014

Doing Good in the Neighborhood

Doing-Good-In-The-Neighborhood

Editor’s note: Johnson & Johnson has more than 128,000 employees around the world.  Throughout 2014, we’re going to bring you their unique stories.  Whether they are employees who work with a nonprofit, mentor children, or simply volunteer at their local soup kitchen, we want to show that small acts of kindness can make big changes in the world we live in.  These stories have inspired us, and we hope they’ll inspire you, too.

“Those who can lead have an obligation to do so, in the realm of citizenship…”  General Robert Wood Johnson, 1949

Oscar MoreraName: Oscar Morera

Position/J&J Company:  Program Manager, J&J WHQ

Oscar Morera, Program Manager at Johnson & Johnson Headquarters, volunteers with The Bridge to Employment and Rutgers ODASIS programs to help students who come from low socially economic environments and inspire them to work hard, go on to college, and then a professional school or career.  “I hope that I can relay to them the importance of an education and how they can break the cycle and become successful.  I want to help students believe in themselves, so that they will rise and become successful members of the community and one day also give back to others.”

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February 22nd, 2014

Living Life Without Limits

by Paul Flynn, North America Sales Director, Animas

Sebastien Sasseville

Animas is inspired by stories of how our products help patients with Type 1 diabetes.  Living a life without limits is our guiding mission, so when an athlete like Sebastien Sasseville attempts to run across Canada as a way to inspire others to face challenges, it fills us with pride and determination to share his story.

Sebastien is a six-time Ironman triathlete and a conqueror of Mt. Everest who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2002 . Thanks in part to Animas, his latest project, Outrun Diabetes, is about overcoming obstacles, whether it is diabetes or any other hurdle people are dealing with in their lives. He hopes his journey will motivate others to purse and accomplish their own personal goals.

As Sebastien traverses across Canada, he will be stopping in cities including Halifax, Moncton, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary before he reaches the finish line in Vancouver.  Along the way, he will host events and education seminars in local communities to help raise awareness for diabetes.

To learn more about Sebastien or to follow his journey, please check back at Outrun Diabetes throughout the coming months.

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