New Facility To Help Local Biotech Companies

Janssen Labs Facility To Act As Incubator For New Biotech Ideas, Research

A new facility was unveiled on Tuesday that aims to help cultivate research and development for the local biotech industry.

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Janssen Labs is a 30,000 square foot research site that will act as an incubator for new biotech ideas and research.

Jeff Morhet's company Diomics is one of four chosen so far to use the space and equipment for the price of rent.

"We'll be moving in the next four or five days," said Morhet.

He said the facility leaves startups like his the money and time to focus on the science.

"I'd rather be able to bring on more people, work on more experiments, do more studies and progress the science," said Morhet.

The company's DNA analysis technology is already being used for crime scene investigations similar to those seen in the ABC show "Body of Proof."

Creating a place where startups can thrive without the start-up costs is the brainchild of Dr. Diego Miralles, who heads up the Janssen site for parent company Johnson & Johnson. He said there are no strings attached.

"We don't control the companies," he said. "We have no ownership stake in those companies."

At the facility, there is room for up to 20 companies looking to advance science and medicine.

On average, it takes about eight to 12 years for a drug to go from research to market. What Janssen is doing may not necessarily speed that process up, but it may eventually get more products to consumers.

The products include Yolia Health's eye drops for presbyopia.

The company, which is also set to work in Janssen labs, said they are waiting for FDA approval for their treatment that could virtually eliminate the need for reading glasses.

"You can think of it as kind of like retainers for the eyes," said Yolia Health CEO Alberto Osio.

San Diegan Dan Holstein said he welcomes that kind of innovation.

"That would be the product of the century," he said.

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