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New York State launches genomic medicine project with $105 million

13 January 2014

By Daryl Ramai

Appeared in BioNews 737

The New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has announced a US$105 million partnership between the New York Genome Center (NYGC) and the University of Buffalo (UB) to accelerate genomic research in the region.

The partnership aims to combine the high performance computing infrastructure of UB's Center for Computational Research and NYGC's research community, a collaboration among 16 educational and research organisations that recently opened a facility in lower Manhattan.

The State will provide US$50 million to UB to expand its computing capacity and US$55 million to NYGC, which has committed to matching the amount with funds raised through external groups. The partnership is expected to create around 500 new jobs in Manhattan, with further positions at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

'The incredibly potent combination of genomic medicine and the analytic power of today's supercomputers will change our approach to health care', said Dr Robert Darnell, president of NYGC.

'With these new technologies, we can begin to visualise treatments and cures for diseases such as cancers, Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's, and Parkinson's. That's what the New York Genome Center is all about, and as a result of Governor Cuomo's vision this partnership will rapidly enhance our capabilities', he added.

The State expects that the investment will spur the development of companies on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus that will support and focus on diagnostics and information technology essential to breakthroughs in personalised medicine, as well as the development of the region's genomic medicine industry.

Already four companies will begin work and hope to benefit from the partnership by gaining access to research and computational resources.

Venture capitalist Jordan Levy, managing partner for Softbank Capital NY, said: 'The time is here when Western New York is linking IT and biomedical capabilities in a way that is creating exciting new high-tech business opportunities'.

'The Governor's backing for this genomics and big data initiative will drive even more momentum to launch start-ups and grow existing firms', he added.

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