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NYC, Corporate Partners Launch $100M Life Sciences Investment Fund

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The New York Economic Development Corporation said today it has launched an initiative that will inject $100 million into life sciences startup companies located in the city through a mix of money from city government, life sciences companies, and venture capital partners.

The City of New York Early-Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative will seek to invest in 15 to 20 early-stage research and development companies by 2020, according to the NYCEDC.

Under the plan, the NYCEDC will provide $10 million for the fund; Eli Lilly, Celgene, and GE Ventures will put up $40 million; and the remaining $50 million will be matched by other partners from the venture capital world, according to the New York Biotechnology Association.

NYCEDC said the life sciences fund began reviewing competitive proposals from prospective VC partners last month, that these additional VP partners will be identified by the end of the year, and that the fund will begin making its first investments in early or mid-2014.

NYCEDC said it, Celgene, Lilly, and GE will co-invest a minimum of $50 million in seed and Series A funding, and it is currently considering eight additional VC investors as partners.

These VC partners will be chosen for their ability to build up new companies, recruit R&D talent, deploy follow-on capital over the long-term, and work with the city's academic medical centers, research foundations, and other strategic partners.

"The Funding Initiative will be a game changer," Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of Rockefeller University, said in a statement. "We see this as a historic opportunity for our institutions to join forces in advancing world-class science in New York City. With the development of the Alexandria Center and the New York Genome Center in recent years, and now the Life Sciences Funding Initiative, New York City is clearly accelerating the city's infrastructure for venture creation and early stage research and development."

When NYC Deputy Mayor Robert Steel unveiled the initiative today at an event at Rockefeller University, he also announced that the city plans to invest $5 million to support the creation of the Mount Sinai Institute of Technology (MSIT), an academic biomedical research and teaching institute to be located in existing space at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.

MSIT will use the city funding to transform that existing space into several facilities organized around three core areas, including prescription technologies, biologically integrated technologies, and digital health tools.

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