CDI @ TMC houses a machine shop, a mechanical testing lab, an electronics workspace and component lab, a 3D printing lab and a virtual reality demonstration area.

Photo courtesy of Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Cos. (JJMDC) on Nov. 9 opened the new 26,000-square-foot Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center (CDI @ TMC) in Houston.

The new facility represents a collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC (JJI) and TMC that is intended to accelerate development and commercialization of breakthrough medical-device technologies.      

Housed within the TMC Innovation Institute, the new facility will host JJMDC research and development personnel working on internal projects along with strategically aligned external ventures of the companies.  

For the first time, medical-device innovators can execute each stage of the product development life cycle without ever having to leave TMC, which will make the development process more efficient.

The TMC Innovation Institute is also home to JLabs @ TMC, a 34,000-square-foot life sciences incubator that opened in 2016 and TMC’s first collaboration with JJI.

The Center for Device Innovation offers research and development teams real-time visibility into pressing health care challenges as well as rapid prototyping and development of patient solutions.

Described as an “engineering studio,” the innovation center includes the tools staff will need to translate ideas to products, including a machine shop, a mechanical testing lab, an electronics workspace and component lab, a 3-D printing lab and a virtual-reality demonstration area.

Meeting rooms are designed with clean lines and spare materials to spur clear thinking and creativity.

Photo courtesy of Johnson & Johnson

The space itself is designed to spur creativity, with a conference room made of spare building materials — a symbol of new applications for traditional ideas.  

Further, through the collaboration with TMC, staff will have access to the medical center’s broad range of preclinical facilities, including those at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital and Texas Heart Institute. At these facilities and at the TMC Clinical Trials Institute, staff can explore new paradigms for accelerated medical device clinical trials.

“CDI @ TMC represents unprecedented collaboration between the scientists, business leaders, academicians and investors required to bring revolutionary medical devices from concept to market,” says Sandi Peterson, group worldwide chair of Johnson & Johnson.

“With all these resources in one ZIP code, medical devices may be developed, tested, moved to clinical trials and regulatory approval, then provided to the doctors and patients around the world who need them faster than ever before,” she says.  

Having prototyped a product, J&J staff will have the opportunity to invite expert clinicians from area hospitals to provide feedback when the product is ready for testing at one of TMC’s nearby state-of-the-art preclinical facilities. 

William F. McKeon, president and CEO of Texas Medical Center, says the health system believes that the new innovation center "will serve as a cornerstone for medical device invention and commercialization, further advancing our leadership in life sciences.”

The facility is headed by William E. “Billy” Cohn, M.D., vice president, JJMDC and director of CDI @ TMC. The acclaimed cardiothoracic surgeon and serial medical devices entrepreneur was hired by JJMDC in October 2016 to work on internal research and development projects and to collaborate with external entrepreneurs and innovators.