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New York City Seeks VC Help to Jumpstart Non-Therapeutic Life Science Ventures

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The New York City Economic Development Corporation, on behalf of the city, is seeking venture capitalists to partner in an initiative to jump start the city's life science sector doing work not directed at therapeutics development.

This week, the NYCEDC issued a request for proposals to help develop, implement, and manage the City of New York Early Stage Life Sciences Fund Non-Therapeutics Venture Program. Along with funding provided by potential VC partners, "it is contemplated" that the NYCEDC along with "certain industry R&D leaders," will contribute between $20 million and $30 million in matching funds to support the launch of non-therapeutic life science ventures based in New York City, for a total of $40 million to $60 million in funding for such endeavors.

In an e-mail to GenomeWeb Daily News, a spokesman for the NYCEDC said it is seeking VC partners "with expertise in launching new ventures from scratch, working alongside local academic medical centers and scientific founders to assemble breakthrough companies."

In December, the NYCEDC announced a broader program called the City of New York Early-Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative, with support from Celgene, GE Ventures, and Eli Lilly, to help early stage life science firms. That program aims to provide at least $100 million in funding to the life science community in New York City, including those engaged in therapeutics development. The NYCEDC, with its corporate partners, would provide at least $50 million in matching funds to that effort, and the non-therapeutics funding initiative is part of the larger initiative.

Celegene, GE, and Eli Lilly have committed $50 million for both the therapeutics and non-therapeutics programs and additional partners may be announced in the future, the NYCEDC spokesman said.

According to the RFP for the non-therapeutics program, projects eligible for funding from the initiative include those aimed at developing genomics technologies, bioinformatics, diagnostics, medical devices, R&D instrumentation, digital life sciences, and biomaterials.

The RFP's deadline is Aug. 28.