Janssen to team up with UGent and UZ Gent in industry-academia collaboration

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Janssen Pharmaceutica have signed a renewal of the innovation charter with Ghent University (UGent) and Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent). The move is part of an initiative to share more knowledge and expertise between industry and academia, stimulating scientific progress and reaching patients faster than ever before.

UGent and UZ Gent have been building a close collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceutica in recent years. The partners are now expanding this collaboration to a range of new areas, including big data, clinical trials, cancer research, nanomedicine and smart production methods.

The overlapping interest areas of the different organizations have produced ten key innovation areas, with the primary four consisting of:

  • Taking innovative approaches to setting up and running clinical trials
  • Unraveling the mechanism of action of diseases and developing inhibitors and vaccines for respiratory infections, viral hepatitis, HIV and Ebola
  • Expanding a biobank for scientific research
  • Developing innovative pharmaceutical production technologies

This collaboration is part of an important trend and is characteristic for a changing climate in industry and academia. Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly wanting to invest in external innovation and work with partner organizations. Through collaborations, such as the one between Janssen and UGent/UZ Gent, it is easier for all parties to jointly find solutions to complex medical challenges and mobilize the talent needed to achieve these healthcare goals. Both partners, industry and academic, are here openly acknowledging that they can reach their final goal, better patient care, faster and more effectively by working together.

Prof. Rik Van de Walle, Rector at UGent, believes this move is extremely important. “This collaboration is a game-changer – it’s not just an exchange program; we are aiming for a long-term joint innovative approach with one goal: making patients better.”

“We want to exchange scientific knowledge and talent in areas with significant potential for finding new ways of treating, intercepting and preventing diseases. Joining forces with renowned universities such as UGent and university hospitals such as UZ Gent to innovate in a range of areas allows us to make a meaningful difference and continue to work towards medical innovation in Belgium, Europe and the world,” says Stef Heylen, Managing Director, Janssen Pharmaceutica.

“This renewed collaboration agreement is a sign of Janssen’s commitment to working with others to find solutions to the most complex medical challenges and to mobilizing the best talent to achieve this goal”, says Sonja Willems, Managing Director of Janssen Benelux.