Will NYC become a hub for the biotech industry?

“State and city officials, along with business leaders, have for years pushed to take advantage of the expertise at hospitals and universities in the area and diversify the local economy with biotech.”, write the Wall Street Journal today. “Yet efforts have faced barriers including scarce, costly real estate and a laboratory’s specialized ventilation and other needs, as well as a smaller pool of health-care venture investors compared with Boston and San Francisco.”

But yesterday health-care investment firm Deerfield Management Co. announced a move that could indeed help New York become a hub for the biotech industry. Deerfield “is investing $635 million to create a transformative life sciences campus in New York City, designed to integrate the capabilities of innovators from academia, government, industry and the not-for-profit sectors to tackle unmet needs in healthcare. Deerfield additionally announced that it intends to commit more than $2 billion in research and seed funding by 2030 to develop much-needed new and innovative medicines and treatment solutions.”

Deerfield has acquired the 345 Park Avenue South property (more than 300,000 square feet) that will become a “NYCLifeSci campus”.

345 Park Avenue South 

The building construction and programming is being backed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Industrial Development Agency. It is expected to be in move-in ready condition for Deerfield and other innovators in healthcare by early 2021.

Deerfield, which manages nearly $10 billion, said it is aiming to repeat the success of the Alexandria Center for Life Science, among the first projects to bring drug-company laboratory research to New York City.

“Yet challenges remain for New York,” points out the WSJ: “San Francisco and Boston-area companies received more than two-thirds of life-science venture capital in 2017, and more than twice the number of life-science doctorates are earned annually in the Boston area than in New York, according to research by real-estate firm JLL.”

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