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Careers

Roundup: 4 Bold Health Breakthroughs From Johnson & Johnson in 2021 Roundup: 4 Bold Health Breakthroughs From Johnson & Johnson in 2021

rom headline-grabbing vaccination efforts to high-impact innovations you might have missed, check out four ways we lived up to our mission—and lived out Our Credo—last year at Johnson & Johnson. Inside these breakthrough discoveries is the story of how we're continuing to change the future of health for good.

1.

Introducing a Single-Dose Vaccine to Combat a Global Pandemic

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Okay, this one you’ve probably heard of, and the pandemic is still far from over, so we won’t belabor the point. But it is worth reflecting on at least two aspects of our groundbreaking vaccine efforts.

First, we took deliberate steps to ensure that the volunteers in the Phase 3 clinical trial for our single-dose COVID-19 vaccine candidate—45,000 people across eight continents—comprised a diverse and representative group. At the same time, we remain acutely aware of the ways in which the pandemic has effectively exacerbated existing healthcare inequalities, and we’re doing everything we can to counteract it.

Second, we’re always working to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to our life-saving medicines and treatments, and our approach to this vaccine hasn’t been any different. In fact, we’ve recently entered into an agreement with the U.S. government, together with other partners, to help the world's most vulnerable people—people living in conflict zones or humanitarian settings, for example—access our single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.

Finally, even as SARS-CoV-2 variants emerge, we’re confident that we can take on the challenge—our COVID-19 booster shot, which the U.S. CDC Advisory Committee approved (and unanimously recommended for all eligible individuals who received authorized COVID-19 vaccines), is a case in point. Rising to the occasion in challenging times is what we’re built to do at Johnson & Johnson, and it’s what we’ll continue to do this year as well.

2.

Pioneering New Approaches to Mental Health

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Mass remote work. Social distancing. Sheltering in place. While all of these COVID-19 safety measures primarily refer to physical arrangements, they come with clear psychological—and mental health—implications as well. At the same time, they also serve to effectively cut off traditional pathways to care.

With in-person care options out, we decided to investigate digital cognitive behavioral therapy (dCBT) as an alternative. Our thinking was fairly simple: Couldn’t simple digital technologies make it a lot easier for people everywhere to access mental health solutions?

We launched a landmark clinical trial to find out—and the results so far have been extremely promising.

Indeed, the trial concluded that our approach to digital cognitive behavioral therapy showed "robust effects as an intervention that prevents depression.” The findings are preliminary, and more research needs to be done, of course, but this could be huge.

Stay tuned!

3.

Trailblazing Work to Take On Out Dengue

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Mosquito-borne dengue viruses infect as many as 400 million people annually, of which around 100 million become sick and 22,000 die—and there are troubling signs that those numbers might be increasing.

In Brazil, for example, rates of hospitalization, diagnosis of severe disease and death from dengue have all gone up in recent years. At the same time, and for reasons that are not entirely clear, some patients appear to recover, only to experience persistent symptoms, like fatigue and depression, later on, which can have longer-term health and economic impacts.

Despite the magnitude of the challenge, however, no antiviral treatment options currently exist for dengue. Or, perhaps to put it more accurately, they don’t exist yet—because a cross-functional team from the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson is out to change that.

According to recently released preclinical data, the team has found an early-stage compound with a novel mechanism of action that could potentially treat all serotypes of dengue fever, in addition to providing a period of protection against acquiring the dengue virus.

Based on this early success, the team is now moving its dengue program into clinical development—and they have high hopes for the road ahead.

4.

Empowering Nurses With Advanced Digital Tools

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You might be familiar with some of the ways we've been empowering front-line healthcare workers around the world over the past 12 months—that's just part of our DNA at Johnson & Johnson. Doctors and nurses, after all, are named in the first commitment of Our Credo, the values guiding everything we do.

But in light of ongoing, broad-based disruption related to the global pandemic, we wondered what we could do to help nurses, especially given their long and proud history as healthcare innovators, from Florence Nightingale in the 19th century right up to the present day. Plus, we know that nurses are much more than first responders—they also have a vital role to play in addressing long-standing healthcare disparities and improving access to care, simply for starters.

Hence the creation of our Nurse Innovation 101 Hub, a digital platform designed to help nurses learn new skills, adapt to new technologies and generally broaden their reach and impact. It's a simple, actionable tool: a way of empowering nurses that can also contribute to better health outcomes for everyone.

Check out our @JNJNursing hashtag on Twitter for updates about all of the different ways we’re supporting nurses these days at Johnson & Johnson.


Ready to Help Shape the Future of Health for Good?

Breakthrough innovations like these come to life every single day at Johnson & Johnson, but we can't do it without countless contributions from the best and the brightest around the world—from people like you.

So if you're ready to help us rewrite the future of health, and positively impact the lives of people everywhere, check out all of the opportunities to join our team today. Plus, you should take a moment to join our global talent community, too. It's an easy way to stay in touch, learn more about life at Johnson & Johnson and even get updates about jobs that might interest you in the future.

Finally, we want to wish you all of the best in 2022. We're certainly excited about the 12 months ahead!

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