New York is still standing in the shadows of Boston and San Francisco’s thriving life sciences eocosystem. To help usher New York City into an economic epicenter for the life sciences industry, the Bloomberg administration announced that the city is working with large pharma companies and venture capitalists to create a $100 million fund to invest in life sciences companies.
According to the announcement, $50 million will be seeded from the city of Economic Development ($10 million) and corporate sponsors Celgene, GE Ventures and Eli Lilly & Co ($40 million). The remaining $50 million is expected to be matched through venture capital partnerships that will be administered across the city’s life science-focused research universities. The aim is to invest in 15 to 20 early-stage research and development ventures by 2020 (Crains NYC, McNery, 12/4).
The Bloomberg administration see their focus on the life sciences as a key area of economic diversification for the city. The funds can help fuel new drug development that can be picked up by larger drug companies and research institutions.
Mount Sinai Institute of Technology
Deputy Major Robert Steel stated that the city’s infrastructure lacked some key elements to foster a viable life sciences eocystem including its lack of available lab space as another missing piece. To address this issue, the city is providing $5 million to build the Mount Sinai Institute of Technology focusing on biomedical discovery and development of technology-based healthcare solutions.
Construction on MSIT’s East Harlem campus will begin in the coming weeks and the academic program will commence in fall 2014 with 10 full-time faculty and 68 students and researchers, Crain NYC reports.
Dwindling Life Sciences Investments
Venture-capital firms invested $113 million in biotechnology companies in the New York area in the third quarter of 2013, compared with $267 million in New England and $209 million in Silicon Valley, according to MoneyTree Report, a joint project by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
Overall, venture-capital investing in biotechnology declined to $4.2 billion last year from $5.8 billion in 2007, according to MoneyTree Report.
City officials hope this will help spur a thriving life sciences technology startup space in NYC.