New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Thursday that her state would open up a $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund to support the state’s growing Life Science industry.
The fund would provide grants to companies within the state working to bring to market infectious disease solutions that would address or mitigate the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and its variants.
“No state was hit harder and faster by COVID-19 than New York State — and it is incumbent upon us to use the lessons we learned to better prepare for the future,” Hochul said. “The Biodefense Commercialization Fund will help the next generation of startups and early-stage companies combat infectious diseases while creating jobs and investment in New York’s life science industry. We want to ensure that New York is where these groundbreaking companies start and operate, and that our state is at the center of the search for solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”
Hochul said the fund would fast track qualified startups, early stage companies and late stage academic research in New York institutions that are developing promising diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics and other innovations to prevent, treat or mitigate infectious health threats. Companies would be eligible for grants of up to $4 million, while academic institutions would be eligible for grants up to $500,000. Preference will be given to projects with the highest potential for commercial viability.
The fund will be managed by Empire State Development, with guidance from an executive committee made up of representatives from New York State’s Department of Health, Columbia University, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and two venture funds. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of experts in the biopharma industry, life science venture investors and academic scientists.