In 2013 Janssen announced the creation of Janssen Global Public Health (GPH), a major step in the organization’s commitment to finding solutions, together with others, which may turn the tide of global healthcare and offer an answer to the medical needs of, among others, the most vulnerable regions. The new structure joins all efforts made by Janssen in the field of development and availability of innovative medicines. Our goal is to address seemingly intractable health challenges in new and unexpected ways. Janssen GPH mainly focuses on diseases which are a heavy burden for countries with limited resources and emerging markets.
In 2013 three new products were launched in the United States and several other countries. In March 2013 Janssen announced the approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for INVOKANA® (canagliflozin) for the treatment type 2 diabetes in adults. This disease currently affects 371 million people worldwide and is expected to affect about 552 million people by 2030.
In addition, the FDA approved IMBRUVICA™ (ibrutinib) capsules for patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). MCL is a rare, degenerative disease with a bad outcome and constitutes a large unmet medical need. IMBRUVICA is one of the first medicines to be authorized through the FDA's Breakthrough Therapy Designation procedure, which is intended to accelerate the assessment and development of medicines for the treatment of serious or life-threatening disorders.
In 2013 the FDA approved OLYSIO™ for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection. Chronic hepatitis C is an infectious disease of the liver transmitted through the blood. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes the disease as a viral time bomb: there are about 150 million HCV patients worldwide.
On 12 February 2013 FierceBiotech, an American magazine which closely follows the developments in the biotech sector, described Dr. Paul Stoffels as one of the most influential leaders in the pharmaceutical industry and the biotechnology sector. Stoffels is Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson & Johnson and global president of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, now called Janssen. He worked closely together with Dr. Paul Janssen and gained fame himself in the early 90is with his pioneering research on HIV resistance. In the search for a more efficient way to treat HIV he took the entrepreneurial path and together with Rudi Pauwels they set up two biotechnology companies, Tibotec and Virco. These two successful companies returned to the Johnson & Johnson group later and Stoffels was given increasing responsibilities.
The commercial organization Janssen-Cilag nv which supports and sells the Janssen medicines in the Benelux operates in a constantly changing environment. The persistent economic crisis, the ageing population and more complex medicines cause governments to implement stricter budgetary policies for existing and new medicines. The commercial context in which Janssen Benelux operates has also thoroughly changed in the past years.
In order to meet those challenges, the management developed a new vision and a new organization model in 2013 which must allow the organization to meet the needs of patients and care providers in new therapeutic domains more flexibly and more efficiently. The new organization model resulted in the collective dismissal of 46 employees of Janssen Benelux: 31 in Belgium and 15 in the Netherlands.
Janssen regrets the impact for the employees in question and makes every endeavor to assist the affected employees and, where possible, ensures that they are re-employed in the short term. The company attaches great importance to the well-being of all employees. All employees who were dismissed in the context of the collective dismissal were given an outplacement arrangement for a 60-hour period during 6 months. Employees who were at least 45 years old at the time of their dismissal have the option to extend the assistance twice by 3 months.
Janssen Supply Chain won the Supply Chain Award in 2013. With this Award the Association for Purchase and Company Logistics (VIB) and the Belgium Supply Chain Organization (PICS) want to stimulate companies to invest in projects to enhance the service level and efficiency of the supply chain and recognize best practices in supply activities. Janssen Supply Chain consists of 21 sites spread around the world and also entrusts supply assignments to more than 150 external production centers. Such a challenge only has a chance of success with a harmonious planning strategy. And that strategy produced tangible results, rewarded by a nice recognition.
In 2013 the VIB, KU Leuven, UZ Leuven, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson Innovation launched Stellar. The joining of forces is aimed at making it easier to convert molecular insights in disease processes into new medicines and diagnostics for brain diseases.
In 2013 Janssen took part in a Belgian economic mission to India. The purpose of the mission was to strengthen and diversify the economic relations between Belgium and India. Both Janssen and parent company Johnson & Johnson have always had a significance presence in India. Former Janssen Pharmaceutica CEO Ajit Shetty talked to the Indian minister of Economic Affairs about the need of innovative basic medicines.
In March 2013 Janssen in Beerse welcomed thousands of visitors during the open house day of the care and well-being sector, the so-called Day of Care. The lots of visitors were offered an exclusive view behind the screens of Janssen. What the company does is directly linked to the care every one of us will need one day. The company has been investing in the care for people for more than half a century by means of the constant search for new breakthrough medicines.
In March 2013 it was exactly 10 years ago that the Janssen HIV franchise was set up. Since 2003 this franchise has marketed 3 medicines. Janssen made great progress in its goal to become a leader in the fight against HIV and make the difference for people living with HIV. The franchise is already known as Infectious Diseases & Vaccines and has already expanded its action radius outside HIV and virology to e.g. hepatitis C and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.
In 2013 Janssen was repeatedly faced with protests from animal rights organizations. These actions are aimed against the use of lab animals in the pharmaceutical industry. The company acknowledges that the use of animals may unleash strong emotions. Janssen also uses lab animals because it is a legal requirement and is looking forward to the day that it is no longer necessary.
In 2013 Dr. Koen Andries received a royal distinction. He was made Officer in the Order of Leopold. He was also celebrated locally by the local authorities of the town of Beerse. Dr. Andries can look back on a long career as a scientist at Janssen Pharmaceutica. Together with Dr. Paul Janssen he was the founder of the development of the very first Janssen AIDS inhibitors. In the past years Koen and his team developed a new medicine against multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.
On Tuesday 16 April 2013 Tom Heyman received the first Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) Lifetime Achievement Award from Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters. The FIT is the Flemish independent agency aimed at assisting companies with their worldwide export activities and at attracting foreign investments. The Johnson & Johnson parent company received the distinction because of the decades of trust in our country and its consistent investment policy in Flanders and Belgium.
In 2013 the combined heat and power plant was officially started up at the Beerse site. This installation sustainably converts natural gas into heat and electricity. The heat is used for heating a large part of the research buildings. The electricity is used for the entire site.
In 2013 Janssen chose the concept of 'House of Work Ability' to support its HR policy. The House of Work Ability is a Finnish concept and focuses on the work ability, the extent to which someone is willing and has the power to set to work an all factors affecting it. Janssen chose this concept because it is in perfect line with its corporate vision. The HR policy is aimed at creating sustainable and flexible careers with work that suits the different life phases and with an eye for talent and adequate work-life balance.
Early 2013 saw the launch of the ‘European Medical Information Framework’ (EMIF). This is a secured network of databases in which 57 consortium partners can share their medical data. EMIF should speed up the discovery of scientifically based medical solutions for patients. The project, launched by pharmaceutical company GSK and Janssen, will be subsidized by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), Europe's largest public-private collaboration relation between the European Union and the European Federation of the Pharmaceutical Sector (EFPIA).
In 2013 Janssen, together with doctors and nurses, developed Pillcoach, an HIV medication therapy adherence application for smartphones. The Pillcoach app is developed to keep track of how HIV medication is taken. Together with the HIV doctor an ingestion scheme can be created and the app can be activated. The patient receives a warning when he has to take his medication. The patient can then acknowledge whether the medication was taken and also mention the reason why it was not taken, if this is the case. Pillcoach meets the need of an effective tool to improve therapy adherence in the treatment of HIV patients.
In 2013 investigator and artist Jennifer Kanary launched Labyrinth Psychotica together with Janssen and the Psychological Health Fund. It consists of a new do-it-yourself psychosis stimulator and a labyrinth which helps people understand what someone can experience during a psychosis. In the hope that this may lead to a better understanding and treatment of this mental disease. The Wearable is a portable headset with software which affects someone's reality in real time. The Labyrinth is a lifelike labyrinth which deforms time and space in a fascinating and confrontational way. The systems are developed with the financial support of Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizen Trust in collaboration with the Psychological Health Foundation and Janssen.
HepCoach, an online platform of several supporting services, informs and coaches patients, doctors and nurses who are involved in the treatment of hepatitis C. The purpose is to make sure that the intensive treatment of hepatitis C goes well. The platform contains practical information about correct use of medicines and a logistic service which supports the supply of medicines, helps the doctor to follow-up prescriptions, sends messages to patients when medicines are available and helps pharmacists in coordinating and providing information. Besides, it offers patients who start a treatment the option to get support from a nurse, who can give information, explanations and instructions either over the phone or during a home visit.