NYU Langone Medical Center today announced its plan to launch a large-scale biotech “incubator” in Manhattan, which will begin hosting companies at the end of 2017.
Named BioLabs@NYULangone and located at 180 Varick Street, the new center is designed to house up to 35 startup companies seeking to turn laboratory discoveries into profitable businesses in 50,000 square feet of fully equipped lab and office space. NYU Langone’s operations partner for the project is BioLabs, a leader in the management of shared laboratory centers nationwide.
“The new center builds on the outstanding track record at NYU Langone in launching biomedical technology and drug discovery companies, and in helping them grow, create high-tech jobs, and improve human health,” says Robert Schneider, PhD, associate dean for Biomedical Innovation and Commercialization at NYU Langone.
“We believe the center will become the long-sought foundation of a larger biotech corridor in New York City, in part because we will welcome new companies spinning out of all the region’s academic centers and biotechs,” says BioLabs’ president Johannes Fruehauf, MD, PhD. “Bringing our proven BioLabs model to New York City will capture its entrepreneurial excitement.”
Dr. Schneider’s optimism for the project is based in part on NYU Langone’s success in developing more than 50 new companies in the past 5 years. Furthermore, 20 startup companies have already applied to rent space in the new center.
BioLabs@NYULangone will start strong thanks to $5 million in funding from NYU Langone, $5 million from the New York City Economic Development Corporation as part of its LifeSci NYC Initiative, and $2 million from Empire State Development.
“With this grant we are investing in New York’s nascent life science economy, one that benefits New York workers by encouraging collaboration between our great research institutions, innovators, and startup businesses,” says New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “When it comes to science and technology, we will leverage our competitive edge and spur 100,000 good-paying jobs over the next decade, all to make our city more affordable for all.”
BioLabs@NYULangone will also launch with leading corporate sponsors, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Thermo Fisher, Boehringer Ingelheim, MilliporeSigma, Sanofi, Eppendorf, Nixon Peabody, ALT, J.P. Morgan, and Gunderson Dettmer.
A Proven Model
Each new company to open shop at BioLabs@NYULangone will start with a package of tailored laboratory equipment and supplies. BioLabs staff will marshal educational programming and operational support, enabling startups to focus on science and move more quickly into their own spaces, and without investing heavily in equipment and nonresearch personnel.
BioLabs@NYULangone will address a long-standing challenge, says Dr. Schneider. New York academic centers are number two in the country in federal medical research dollars awarded by the National Institutes of Health, and almost half of venture capital investment in new technology companies comes from New York. Despite this level of investment, he says, the region has launched “relatively very few” new biotech companies in recent years.
The new facility will occupy two full floors at 180 Varick Street, including 48 benches in an “open lab,” 3 large private labs, 3 medium private labs, 9 small private labs, along with 30 offices, conference rooms, and a state-of-the-art event space.
“This center will support the translation of game-changing discoveries by scientists into new treatments for patients,” says Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, vice dean for science and chief scientific officer at NYU Langone. “We are committed to seizing the momentum in New York biotech by investing in more lab space for start-ups arising from academic centers.”
“We believe this new facility will carry many remarkable basic science discoveries all the way through to clinical impact, building on the NYU Langone tradition of leadership in biotechnology,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone.