2009-10-23 / Top Stories

Biomedical Research Leads To New Jobs

The Partnership for New York City and the New York City Economic Development (NYCEDC) Corporation announced that the New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF), a civic fund founded by Henry R. Kravis, Founding Partner of Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts & Co., will provide up to $1.25 million for the BioAccelerate NYC Prize. This is the first citywide competition targeting commercialization of the extensive biomedical research conducted in New York.

The goal of BioAccelerate NYC Prize is to ensure that promising laboratory discoveries made in New York translate into jobs and business development in the city. NYCEDC, which is leading the City's efforts to establish New York City as a hub for the biotech industry, will lend marketing and organizational support to the competition.

The BioAccelerate NYC Prize will spur the creation of bioscience businesses that will ultimately employ thousands of New Yorkers," said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of NYCIF. "This competition brings together the key things needed to start a biotech company - world-class science, funding, and entrepreneurial talent."

"The BioAccelerate NYC Prize will play a vital role in both bridging the gap in early-stage capital and cultivating the entrepreneurial interests of the City's academic research community. It is our hope that BioAccelerate will empower our scientists with the funding and mentorship they need to pursue ever-critical high-risk, high-reward opportunities," said Seth W. Pinsky, President of NYCEDC. "The BioAccel - erate NYC Prize goes hand-in-hand with our ongoing bioscience initiatives including capital investments at locations such as the Alexandria Center for Science and Technology at East River Science Park and BioBAT at the Brooklyn Army Terminal."

The application for this competition will be available starting Thursday, October 15, 2009 at www.bioacceleratenyc. org.Entries for the BioAccel - erate NYC Prize must be submitted by November 25, 2009 for review by a panel of experts from the investment, finance and life sciences industries. Up to 12 finalists will be announced during the week of December 14 and invited to make presentations during the week of January 25. Three to five winners will be selected, with each awarded up to $250,000 in funding. NYCIF will receive a small percentage of income from the successful commercialization of products funded by the BioAccel - erate NYC Prize. This participation will allow NYCIF to continue funding additional commercialization efforts in life sciences.

The competition is open to research - ers affiliated with not-for-profit universities and research institutions in New York City. To be eligible, an applicant's research should be at a stage that is almost ready to be commercialized as a product that will improve human health. The BioAccel erate NYC Prize addresses the funding gap - known as the "valley of death" - for projects that are deemed too commercial for academic or National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants but too speculative for investment by the private sector. By helping to fill this gap, the BioAccel - erate NYC Prize will help increase the pipeline of commercial spin-offs from universities and form the core of a growing life sciences sector in the city.

A unique element of the BioAccel - erate NYC Prize is that finalists will be mentored by one or two life sciences in - dustry entrepreneurs and have access to patent and regulatory expertise in order to help refine their project's commercial potential. Winners will con t - inue to work with the industry entrepreneurs towards commercialization and company formation.

"The BioAccelerate NYC Prize will help fill a significant gap in the availability of NYC-based seed stage venture capital and provide the needed funding to allow many important projects move forward" said Vivian Lee, MD, PhD, MBA, chief scientific officer and vice-dean for science, NYU Langone Medical Center. "We appreciate the New York City Investment Fund's enhanced commitment to re - search and for providing new opportunities for NYU's Langone School of Medicine to build upon its successful track record of translating its research into commercial applications."

The BioAccelerate NYC Prize is the latest segment of a growing public-private initiative that includes New York City and State agencies, the Part - nership for New York City and more than a dozen world-class research institutions based in New York. The centerpiece of this broad initiative is the Alexandria Center for Science and Technology at East River Science Park, a $700 million state-of-the-art commercial bioscience complex strategically located along Man hattan's East Side Medical Corridor. For more information about the bioscience initiative, visit www.nycbiotech.org. Additional information about the BioAccelerate NYC competition can be found at www.bioacceleratenyc.org.

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