Our approach to treating disease will change dramatically in the future. In fact, it has already started.
Medical innovation in the last decade has immeasurably improved the lives of millions through diagnostic advances and life-saving medicines. And the biopharmaceutical community has made unequivocal contributions to some of the most challenging diseases of our time.
But despite this progress, we can do more. New avenues and novel insights enable and empower us to go further and make disease—and the idea of “treating it”—a historical artifact.
How We’re Catalyzing Change
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned about the growing burden of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and respiratory diseases—estimating that the costs of addressing these conditions and related complications will surpass $7 trillion in the U.S. alone between 2011 and 2025. That’s an average of nearly $500 billion per year.
We recognize that these are staggering global threats, and we have an exciting opportunity to use scientific advances and technologies to pursue disease interception, with a vision for a future where today’s disease care becomes tomorrow’s health care—changing from a diagnose and treat approach to a predict and preempt paradigm.
The Janssen Disease Interception Accelerator (DIA), is a research unit focused on disease interception strategies that include addressing the root causes of disease; intervening earlier than today’s clinically accepted point of diagnosis; and seeking solutions that stop, reverse or inhibit progression to that disease.
The group is working to integrate science, medicine, diagnostics and new business models to create totally novel solutions to intervene earlier and deter disease onset. We are concentrating our efforts on disease areas of high unmet need and where there is exciting potential for interception solutions, including gestational diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and perinatal depression, just to name a few.
With Partnership Comes Progress
As our scientists work to advance disease interception strategies, we hope to inspire others who share our vision to join an effort focused on stopping disease before it starts.
To date, we have assembled a committed and driven group of Janssen scientists and external collaborators—scientific institutions, biotech companies, research organizations and thought leaders—who believe, like we do, in the possibility that through cutting-edge science and innovative methods, we can together shift the focus toward the preservation of health, as opposed to the treatment of disease.
As Head of the Disease Interception Accelerator (DIA), Ben Wiegand, Ph.D., leads a team focused on addressing the root causes of select diseases, intervening earlier than today’s clinically accepted point of diagnosis to stop, reverse or inhibit progression to disease. With more than 20 years at Johnson & Johnson, Ben brings a range of experience in identifying and piloting new business and funding models, accelerating growth opportunities and scouting new and emerging scientific areas to deliver innovative solutions. Ben earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Illinois and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University.