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New incubator at MaRS will hold up to 50 start-ups


Toronto, ON – Pharmaceutical company Janssen Inc. is collaborating with Ontario’s provincial government, the University of Toronto, and MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) to launch a JLABS incubator. The incubator, called JLABS @ Toronto, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016 at MaRS Discovery District.

JLABS, part of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, is a network of innovation research centres that provide start-up companies with lab space, programs and potential investment partners. Companies residing at JLABS also have access to core research labs hosting specialized capital equipment and shared administrative areas.

When complete, the new 40,000-square foot facility will include cutting-edge, modular and scalable lab space, equipment, with access to scientific, industry and capital funding experts. The space — which will be licensed to companies by U of T — will also feature JLABS’ inaugural device and digital prototype lab that will provide entrepreneurs with access to highly specialized tools as well as skills building programs to design and develop smart health technologies. This program is planned to be replicated at other JLABS sites.

Partners in JLABS @ Toronto include Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the University of Toronto, MaRS Discovery District, Janssen Inc., MaRS Innovation, and the Government of Ontario. Hospital participants include Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Sinai Health System, St. Michael’s Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and University Health Network.

“The arrival of JLABS will significantly expand the resources and networks available to the health and life sciences community at MaRS and in the region,” said Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District. “The timing is perfect. Our research pipeline is strong and we now have a critical mass of high calibre young companies that are ready to take their transformative technologies and health solutions to global markets. They need access to talent, partners, customers and capital. Toronto’s time is now.”

“There are systemic efforts underway to translate the basic R&D funding that Toronto’s research community receives each year into marketable companies, products, services and license deals,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO, MaRS Innovation. “By situating JLABS @ Toronto at the epicentre of the commercialization renaissance already underway, JLABS is joining and building on existing partnerships that will help Canadian innovations to succeed on the global stage.”