Johnson & Johnson has started a pharmaceutical research innovation center in Boston. Aiming to take advantage of research environments in life sciences hubs, the company opened similar facilities earlier this year in London and Menlo Park, Calif., and intends to open a fourth in Shanghai. “The East Coast’s significance as a hotbed for life sciences innovation grounded in collaboration is indisputable,” says Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer. The firm joins major drug companies including Pfizer, Novartis, and AstraZeneca that have based drug research in the Boston area. Pfizer’s center in Cambridge, Mass., is part of a network, similar to J&J’s, that includes San Francisco, San Diego, and New York City. Similarly, Roche is establishing a translational medicine hub in New York City, where Eli Lilly & Co. also has labs. At an event marking the Boston center’s opening, J&J announced several research initiatives, including an alliance with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai focused on inflammatory bowel disease and one with Rodin Therapeutics in the area of central nervous system disorders.