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Press Release

NYCEDC Awards $1.2M to NYC Based Biotechnology Firm HiberCell

Feb 07 2019

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and HiberCell, a New York City based life sciences company focused on developing therapeutics for preventing cancer relapse announced the completion of the first NYC Early Stage Life Sciences Fund transaction. NYCEDC’s $1.2 million commitment along with several other investors provided up to $60.75 million in funding to accelerate HiberCell’s to help drive it’s translational dormancy strategy in New York City.

With HiberCell’s new headquarters in the Hudson Research Center, the company will join the New York Stem Cell Foundation as the property’s first life sciences tenants, marking an expansion of the life sciences sector to the west side of midtown Manhattan. Much of HiberCell’s foundational biology originated from years of research in the laboratory of Dr. Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“The NYC Early Stage Life Science Fund supports startup companies, by reducing barriers that often prevent them from accessing the capital they need,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “We’re delighted that the first investment will support biotech companies like HiberCell, that are creating both technologies for patients with critical needs and quality jobs for New Yorkers.”

“New York City should be at the forefront in supporting innovative life sciences technology that helps people and strengthens our local economy,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I thank EDC for their investment in HiberCell, Inc. and dedication to boosting startup companies that are focused on pushing society forward.”

“Large investments in biotech will keep our city at the forefront of this rapidly growing sector. It’s particularly notable when these investments go towards innovations developed right here in NYC,” said Council Member Paul Vallone, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development. “HiberCell’s work may save lives and I applaud the NYC Early Stage Life Science Fund for their investment in this valuable research.”

"It's great to see NYCEDC making critical investments not only in new jobs for New Yorkers in the life science industry, but in businesses committed to innovations that may someday save the lives of New Yorkers. I look forward to more investments from the NYC Early Stage Life Sciences Fund in homegrown New York businesses and seeing the life science industry grow in all Five Boroughs," said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera.

“HiberCell is evidence that science developed at New York academic research centers has great commercial potential and ability to drive the growth of a local life sciences industry,” said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. “By demonstrating the commercial viability of his research with our BioAccelerate NYC award, Dr. Aguirre-Ghiso and Mount Sinai were able to attract leading investors, a pharmaceutical partner, and experienced management to develop new therapies for cancer.”

Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP), also played an equally critical role in the transfer of the core technology to HiberCell. “We’re thrilled that Julio’s cutting-edge research in cancer dormancy has mobilized economic development and government entities, large pharma, and prominent venture capital players to create HiberCell,” said Erik Lium, Executive Vice President of MSIP. “This partnership can serve as a template for launching breakthrough startups, expanding New York City’s biotech ecosystem.”

“Lilly is a founding member of the City of New York Early-Stage Life Sciences Fund, whose goal is to encourage public-private partnerships that support the emerging life sciences community in New York City”, said Greg Plowman, VP of Oncology Research at Eli Lilly and Company. “We are excited to participate in the formation of HiberCell, as they continue to translate the excellent science from Dr. Aguirre-Ghiso and Mount Sinai into therapies that could benefit cancer patients.”

The NYC Early Stage Life Sciences Fund was designed to invest in New York City based growing companies to support the development of new technologies and products for patients and researchers, research and development instrumentation, and digital life sciences technologies.

With more than 100 research foundations and nine academic medical centers, New York City is home to one of the largest concentrations of academic life sciences research in the world. However, challenges such as the shortage of laboratory space have made it difficult to retain high-growth life science companies. Unlocking life sciences space and delivering good-paying jobs is part of the de Blasio Administration’s efforts to establish New York City as a global leader in life sciences research and innovation. The NYC Early Stage Life Sciences Fund is one of several active funding initiatives for life sciences by NYCEDC. Interested strategic investors, civic partners, or venture capital partners can contact the NYCEDC Life Science team for more information at [email protected]

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.