Partnership Investment Fund Awards $1M to Support Four Promising Biomedical Products

Michael Olhmeyer, MD, is one of the four scientists to receive award.

New York
 – June 4, 2012 /Press Release/  –– 

The Partnership for New York City (PFNYC) today announced that four local scientists have been awarded a total of $1 million to fund the final stages of research on new biomedical products that will be developed in the five boroughs.  This is the third round of an annual competition known as the BioAccelerate NYC Prize.

The competition is run by the Partnership's nonprofit Investment Fund, founded by Henry R. Kravis, which is dedicated to business development and job creation throughout New York City. The Fund is capitalized by private contributions from the city's leading corporations and investment firms. Working together with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Partnership and its Fund have led efforts to build a bioscience industry in the city, resulting in a 74% increase in the number of biotech and health sciences industry jobs in the city from 2005 to 2010. 

More than 200 scientists from 12 New York research institutions competed for funding through the BioAccelerate NYC Prize, reflecting the significant level of life sciences research activity underway in the city. This year's scientists will each be awarded $250,000 to assist in bringing their products to market in New York City.  Each winner is also provided with a highly experienced mentor, to help with the process of commercialization and business development.   

"We are fortunate to have some of the world's finest scientists and researchers call New York home. The BioAccelerate NYC Prize will allow them to accelerate their research and create jobs in our communities." said Maria Gotsch, President & CEO of the Partnership's Investment Fund. "By encouraging some of the brightest New Yorkers to stay in the city, and others to come to our city, we can develop the next wave of innovative bioscience products right here in the five boroughs." 

"We are pleased to join with the Partnership for New York City on this important prize," said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. "By providing the critical funding necessary for scientists to turn their innovative technologies into commercially viable products, together we are helping to create new businesses and additional jobs that provide a major boost to our emerging bioscience sector and our economy as a whole."   

"For too long, New York was a global leader in medical research and discovery, but failed to maximize the economic benefits of making the resulting products locally," stated Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of PFNYC. "We are determined that New York ideas should be commercialized right here at home, which requires the financing and entrepreneurial support that the BioAccelerate Prize provides." 

The winners were selected after a competitive process in which all applicants were vetted by venture capitalists and senior executives from the life science industry

Dr. Michael Ohlmeyer, Mount Sinai School of Medicine:  Dr. Ohlmeyer is working on adapting a gene called FOX-1, which functions as a tumor suppressor. In certain very aggressive cancers such as breast and ovarian, the FOX-1 protein is unable to naturally suppress tumors. Dr. Ohlmeyer and his team have identified a number of compounds that can assist FOX-1 to better resist aggressive cancers and utilize its tumor suppressing function in cells. Dr. Ohlmeyer and his team are being mentored by Dr. Laura Philips, a board member at Delcath Systems. 

"Mount Sinai is very proud of Dr. Ohlmeyer and his team for the distinguished BioAccelerate prize through the Partnership for New York City and the New York City Investment Fund," stated Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and CEO of The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "The innovative technologies' being developed here at Mount Sinai and across New York City paired with promising ventures like PFNYC is a promising model for translating discovery to the market."

For more information about the BioAccelerate NYC Prize and this year's winners, visit www.BioAccelerateNYC.org.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by US News and World Report.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2011, US News and World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 16th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation's top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Of the top 20 hospitals in the United States, Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and US News and World Report and whose hospital is on the US News and World Report Honor Roll.  Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place. 

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org/.  

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For more information about the BioAccelerate NYC Prize and this year's winners, visit www.BioAccelerateNYC.org.