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Is the big Apple the next big Biotech center?

As we all know, it’s location, location, location when thinking about real estate. And in the Biotech world the best companies and labs are always situated near world class academic institutes and medical centers. Boston has MIT, Harvard, Mass General and Dana Farber while San Francisco boasts Stanford, Cal Berkeley and UCSF Medical Center. And not to be ignored, San Diego is home to Scripts, the Ludwig Institute, and CALTech. So it follows that these regions have garnered the lion share of biotech venture money and jobs because they are where the IP was generated and the founders reside.

But what about New York City? They have some of the world’s leading academic institutes such as Albert Einstein, Rockefeller University and Sloan Kettering but unfortunately, they have been lagging behind. However there has been some activity of late that may portend the blooming of a more thriving biotech center. Here are some interesting recent events that could lead to a more solid life science foothold on the city.

1. This month The Bloomberg administration announced that it is collaborating with pharmaceutical companies and venture capitalists to create $100 million fund to invest in emerging life sciences companies. The city will invest $10M while Lilly, Celgene and GE Ventures will contribute $50M. Now they are looking for a venture capital partner to manage the fund and invest $50M.

2. The Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA has clearly been the leader in high throughput genomics in my opinion. They have played a leading role in the global genome community and have spun out countless companies. But the recent birth of the New York Genome Center with its mandate to leverage research to improved clinical care looks to be a emerging leader in medical genomics and the center is beginning to bring funding and new science jobs to the city.

3. Lastly, an exciting young company, Oxford Nanopore from the United Kingdom has selected New York as a location for one of its locations in the United States. With close proximity to the New York Genome Center, Cold Spring Harbor, Regeneron and medical centers and more centrally located then Boston perhaps they will be just the beginning of more biotech growth in the city.

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