New York’s Life Science Investment is Accelerating Innovation

New York State’s commitment to bolster its life science ecosystem to encourage the creation of regional clusters continues to move forward, with several significant milestones in the past four months.

Three of New York’s top academic research and clinical institutions are collaborating on a groundbreaking partnership – the Empire Discovery Institute (EDI) – to expedite the pathway to licensing and commercialization for early-stage life science research. The not-for-profit drug discovery and development collaborative, announced in May, includes the University of Rochester, University at Buffalo, and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Leveraging the robust research pipelines of these three institutions, EDI will improve the efficiency of early-stage discovery research by focusing effort and funding on discovery candidates that are most likely to succeed, reducing time and risk in early-stage development, as well as cost. Over the next five years, this collaboration, supported by New York State’s Life Science Initiative and in-kind contributions from EDI’s three partners, is expected to generate new patents, new jobs, new companies, and new revenue, while stimulating the Upstate economy.

JLABS @ NYC, a life sciences incubator for innovative biotech, consumer health, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, held its grand opening in June. The 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Manhattan facility, operated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, is located at the New York Genome Center, a not-for-profit research organization that works to translate genomic research into clinical solutions for disease. JLABS is a global network of innovation ecosystems, helping to accelerate and create health and wellness solutions around the world. At any one time, JLABS @ NYC will provide up to 30 life science startups with lab space, equipment and technology needed to move their research closer to commercialization. New York was chosen by JLABS over other potential locations in the U.S. and abroad as the site for this incubator.   

To ensure that scientists at the helm of start-up companies have the tools and resources needed to successfully commercialize their discoveries, New York has partnered with IndieBio, the world’s leading bio-accelerator, which is expected to open in New York City next year. Empire State Development chose the highly regarded accelerator, run by venture firm SOSV—one of the world’s most active venture capital firms—following a competitive Request for Proposals, to serve early-stage life science companies in New York. IndieBio will provide bio-entrepreneurs with access to training, expertise, mentor networks and venture capital needed to enable their companies to reach their market and job-generating potential faster -- and further build the state’s vibrant Life Sciences ecosystem. The Governor made the announcement in July.  

An innovative public-private research collaboration between the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center Laboratory and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals—to advance the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases—was announced in June. The collaboration will focus on developing improved diagnostics, prophylactics and therapeutics for the diagnosis of tick-borne diseases, with an initial focus on Lyme disease, one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United States. The Wadsworth-Regeneron collaboration builds on Governor Cuomo’s commitment to support construction of a new, state-of-the-art public health laboratory in the Capital region that will serve as a magnet for private sector investments and partnerships.