Brand Name Genes

New York City Is a Decade Behind in Genomic Research

Whither the biotech sector?
dna orbit animated static thumb New York City Is a Decade Behind in Genomic Research

(Photo: Wikimedia)

With all the praise heaped on New York City government for fostering a consumer Internet industry, it’s easy to gloss over biotech. You know, that other big factor in making us the innovation capital of the world.

A new venture hopes to change all that. The Daily News reports that the New York Genome Center, which we first told you about back in April, is set to sign a lease for a cutting-edge $150 million facility in lower Manhattan. The privately-financed venture wants to lure top minds from around the city and the globe and plans to hire 500 staffers over the next few years.

And a not a moment too soon, considering we’re running 10 years behind rival hubs in the $7.4 billion-a-year genomics industry.

“In recent years, universities in Boston, Houston, St. Louis and Seattle seized the initiative. Center executive director Nancy Kelley reckons that the city ‘has lost a genomic decade’ as competitors raced ahead.”

The paper describes the Center’s focus on gene-decoding. But when we spoke to representatives, they were also eager to stress the facility as a catalyst for healthcare and personalized medicine startups. Crossing our fingers for some actually-world-changing company pitches in our inbox future.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com