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Boston to get J&J research unit

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson says it will set up four regional ‘‘innovation centers’’ in life sciences hot spots around the world to speed up early research. One will be in Boston.

The health care giant wants to increase collaboration and investment across its businesses: prescription drugs, consumer health products, and medical devices and diagnostic equipment.

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Scientists, entrepreneurs, and start-up companies will get one-stop access to J&J technology and science experts, who can facilitate collaborations with the company’s businesses.

Besides Boston, the centers will be in London, China, and California, with that one including campuses in San Diego and San Francisco. They’re expected to begin operating in the coming months.

Many drugmakers increasingly are doing collaborations like this, particularly with university researchers. That’s because their own scientists haven’t been creating enough new drugs to replace billion-dollar blockbusters getting generic competition.

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