Governor Hochul Announces Applications Open for Second Round of New York’s $40 Million Biodefense Commercialization Fund

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that applications are now available for the second round of New York’s $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund. The Fund, which awarded $15.3 million in grants to eight startups and 10 academic centers in April, was created to accelerate the development and commercialization of life science research innovations that address serious threats to infectious disease health while creating jobs and encouraging continued growth in New York State. expansion of the life sciences industry.

“Through the $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund, New York companies are applying lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to drive innovation and grow the state’s economy,” said the Governor Hochul. “With this funding, we are leading the fight against infectious diseases, creating jobs and important investments in New York State, and better preparing for our future. I am thrilled to announce that applications for the second round of funding are now live, and I encourage startups and early stage companies to take this opportunity to help grow our state’s thriving life sciences sector. .”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The state’s life sciences industry is a key driver of New York’s economy. The Biodefense Commercialization Fund is playing a vital role in this, not only transforming scientific research being conducted across the state into cutting-edge treatments and solutions for serious infectious disease threats, but also expanding the life sciences ecosystem and developing the economy. »

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “Accelerating innovation in the life sciences through the Biodefense Commercialization Fund will enable our state and those on the front lines of public health to identify and respond to serious infectious disease threats. This investment in the expansion of the life sciences industry further demonstrates Governor Hochul’s commitment to further protect the public health of all New Yorkers. »

Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said, “The second round of the Biodefense Commercialization Fund comes at a critical time in the expansion of the life sciences industry in New York. York, contributing to the momentum of new start-ups we have seen during the pandemic. This program reaffirms New York’s leadership in the global innovation economy.

Grants awarded through the Biodefense Commercialization Fund will help bring advanced solutions to market that identify, treat and prevent serious infectious diseases, encouraging growth in New York’s expanding life sciences industry. and positioning the state as a leader in infectious disease resilience and mitigation. Among the projects pursued by the first set of recipients are those focused on the development of potent antivirals, antibacterials and vaccines; rapid detection of infectious disease threats and biological toxins; and preventing the transmission of infections on surfaces.

Eligible companies developing promising diagnostics, vaccines, therapies and other innovations to prevent, treat or mitigate serious infectious disease threats can apply for grants of up to $4 million. New York academic research institutes can also apply for grants of up to $500,000 to help accelerate advanced intellectual property in the life sciences. The focus will be on supporting the development of innovations with the greatest potential for commercial viability. The deadline to apply is October 6, 2022 at 5 p.m. EDT. More information can be found online here.

The Biodefense Commercialization Fund is managed by Empire State Development, under the direction of an executive committee that includes representatives from the New York State Department of Health, Columbia University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and two venture capital funds. A group of experts from the biopharmaceutical industry, the life sciences business community and academia reviews, evaluates and provides recommendations to the ESD on submitted applications. An important feature of the program is that grantees receive guidance from mentors with experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, venture capital investment, and academia to ensure their development programs stay on track.

NYFIRST Fourth Application Round Now Open

The fourth round of grants from the New York Fund for Innovation in Research and Scientific Talent (NYFIRST) is now open. The $15 million medical school grants program encourages the recruitment and retention of outstanding life science researchers focused on translational research, which draws on basic scientific research to find new ways to diagnose and to treat medical conditions. NYFIRST offers grants of up to $1 million.

The NYFIRST awards were given to the following institutions:

  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York
  • The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
  • The University of Rochester, Rochester
  • State University of New York, Upstate School of Medicine, Syracuse

Applications and guidelines are now available on the ESD website and can be viewed here.

New York State’s $620 Million Life Sciences Initiative

New York State has adopted a $620 million initiative to spur the growth of a world-class life sciences research hub in New York City, as well as expand the state’s ability to commercialize this research and to develop the economy. This multi-faceted initiative includes $320 million for strategic programs that attract new life science technologies to the state, encourage critical public and private sector investments in emerging life science fields, and create and grow life sciences businesses and jobs throughout New York State.

The life sciences sector encompasses the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies and includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts to the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization. Every day, companies in this sector develop new medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs that have the potential to save lives, whether through new therapies or the early detection of diseases like cancer and neurological diseases. These companies are also making significant advances in agriculture and environmental biotechnology, helping to create a cleaner, more sustainable future.

By strengthening incentives, investing in facilities, and improving access to talent and expertise, New York will significantly increase its share of industry-funded research and development, support the commercialization of existing academic research and usher in the next generation of advanced technologies. Beyond scientific advances, this initiative will position New York as a magnet for emerging manufacturing companies, strengthening regional economies and creating thousands of jobs. For more information, visit the ESD website here.

Lance B. Holton