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HELIX hits another homer: J&J to take space at life science center

The HELIX, the life science innovation hub in New Brunswick that aims to be a leader of translational research in the state and throughout the East Coast, landed another world-class tenant, as Johnson & Johnson announced it will take space at the complex.

Johnson & Johnson’s global headquarters is within walking distance of the HELIX, which is being built, but the chance to be in the daily conversation with some of the leading companies in innovation in health care and other sectors was something J&J officials said the company wanted to be a part of.

“At Johnson & Johnson, we know that a great idea can come from anywhere and welcome promising early innovations and partners that could benefit from our insight and collaboration,” a spokesperson said. “We look forward to having an on-site presence at the HELIX, as, together, we look to unlock the future potential of New Jersey life science innovation.”

J&J, which long has been a champion of New Brunswick, is happy to help the area increase its already-stellar reputation for research.

“The HELIX development represents another significant step forward for New Brunswick as a historic health innovation hub,” J&J said.

Chris Paladino, the president of the New Brunswick Development Corp. and the master developer of the site, was thrilled by the announcement.

“Johnson & Johnson, since its founding in New Brunswick in 1886, has always been on the cutting edge of discovery and innovation, bringing to worldwide markets consumer health care products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and life-saving therapies,” he said. “As a participant in the HELIX, J&J will help to energize an ecosystem, allowing startup companies in the life science space to collaborate with some of the smartest and influential leaders in the sector.

“It’s the type of collaboration we always have envisioned for the HELIX.”

J&J will join a host of other industry and innovation leaders, including the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, RWJBarnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, Rutgers University, Princeton University, the University of Tel Aviv and a number of international companies, including Atlantic Technology Institute from the Republic of Ireland.

In December, the HELIX announced another huge tenant as Nokia Bell Labs said it will move its world-famous research facility to the space.

Tim Sullivan, the CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, said the HELIX is developing as the state and Gov. Phil Murphy have hoped.

“The HELIX is becoming one of the biggest success stories in New Jersey’s journey back to being the global leader innovation that Gov. Murphy has prioritized since day one — and, with J&J’s decision to partner with Chris and the team at Devco on the project, it’s now going to an even higher level,” he said.

“All around the world, the most successful innovation ecosystems are marked by strong collaborations between academia, large corporates, startups and venture capital — and that’s exactly what’s coming together in New Brunswick at the HELIX.”

Here’s the latest in the three-tower HELIX complex, which will be located across from the New Brunswick New Jersey Transit station.

  • H1: Which will house the translational research space, including the medical school, Johnson & Johnson and others. The 578,000-square-foot tower is under construction and aims to be delivered by the end of 2025.
  • H2: Which will house Nokia Bell Labs in its entirety. The 360,000-square foot tower aims to start going into the ground by the end of the year and be delivered in the first half of 2028.
  • H3: It will be the tallest building in Middlesex County, a mixed-use facility featuring 220 units of residential. The 42-story building tentatively aims to open in 2030.

Paladino said the value of the addition of Johnson & Johnson to the HELIX cannot be overstated.

“We want to have the leading companies and leading researchers in life science working together in the same complex,” he said. “This is how life-changing and world-changing discoveries are made. And they will be made at the HELIX.”

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