Biotech & The Big Apple?
Envision Health Partners (EHP) attended our first Xconomy event last week, primarily since we were intrigued by the topic: New York Biotech—Bringing Back the Expats. It’s a good question and one that’s been around awhile – how come the NYC area has not spawned a vibrant and innovative biotechnology sector hub like the Boston/Cambridge and San Francisco have? What will it take to do so? We are particularly interested in this, as Envision Health Partners would like to help such companies bring customer insights early into the drug discovery process to help design clinical trials and marketing strategy that better reflect the needs of patients, payers and providers.
The panelists, David Epstein, Steven Holtzman and Jeremy Levin, were engaging, fun and of course incredibly experienced, but the gestalt of the discussion seemed to be that, while NYC has all the right ingredients (great medical schools and centers of excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, access to capital/financing), the sector needs incubation momentum and perhaps it is just a matter of time….
The discussion around whether the logistics of finding affordable space, recruiting talent to the NYC area or accepting the challenge thrown by Jeremy Levin (http://www.ovidrx.com), who said NYC must dig deep to offer something uniquely motivating, something “different” from the Cambridge and San Francisco hub environments to attract the right talent, left the room buzzing on how these hurdles might be overcome.
Coincidentally, the same day, Johnson & Johnson Innovation announced the opening of JLABS@NYC in collaboration with New York State and the New York Genome Center (https://endpts.com/jj-opens-up-a-new-biotech-incubator-polishing-the-big-apples-ambitions-to-create-a-major-hub/)
Do you think we are on the cusp of jumpstarting a vibrant biotech sector in our neck of the woods in NYC? What do you see as the key motivators or barriers to get this going?