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CNY Biotech Accelerator opens new hub center for industry-university collaborations and precision medicine laboratory for Upstate Medical University

CNY Biotech Accelerator opens new hub center for industry-university collaborations and precision medicine laboratory for Upstate Medical University

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A pod village, a creation garage, a collide and cloister café and a 200-seat TED Talk theater are key elements of the new Medical Innovation and Novel Discovery Center--also known as the Upstate MIND--that promises to be Central New York’s newest hot spot to nurture startups and facilitate innovative thinking to help entrepreneurs pursue the next big idea in the fields of science, medicine, engineering, business and product development.

The Upstate MIND is a sparkling new feature of the 60,000-square foot Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC), located at 841 East Fayette Street, Syracuse.

Another new feature of CNYBAC’s $5.4 million phase 2 build out, which opens this week, is the Molecular Pathology Next Generation Sequencing Lab that will be used by Upstate Medical University for genetic and molecular testing aimed predicting and preventing disease. The goal is to support the Upstate Cancer Center by characterizing the molecular and genetic signature of all of patients’ cancers to provide patients with a personalized approach to their disease treatment.

Already hosting research activity in its lab space, the CNYBAC now offers prime space “for work that will transform innovative ideas into useful tangible products to improve human condition and the delivery of health care,” according to Upstate officials.

“The establishment of the Upstate Mind and new Molecular Pathology Next Generation Sequencing Lab brings to our community a concept that makes Central New York relevant in the emerging area of precision medicine,” said Robert Corona, DO, MBA, chair of the department of pathology and vice president of innovation and business development.

“The future of medicine is likely going to be driven by the analysis of genetic blueprints of disease, their protein products and personalizing therapies as a result of the analysis, which will begin to do this in this new space,” Corona said.

Key features of the Upstate MIND are:

--a pod village that features pod-like structures for on-the-go collaboration and client meetings.

--the National Grid Creation Garage, where discovery, mentorship, prototype, development, usability testing, biotech innovation and commercialization collaboration is supported.

--a 200-seat theater that will host TED talks and other multimedia presentations.

Key features of the Molecular Pathology Next Generation Sequencing Lab is an Imaging Center including an the Anatomage Table, an advanced anatomy visualization system that can display patient scans to accommodate virtual autopsies, educational opportunities, pre-surgical planning and research. Also, a Bioinformatics Center will promote analysis of genetic blueprints of disease.

Architect for the phase 2 build out was The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM), a national multi-disciplinary architecture firm offering architecture, planning, interior design, landscape and site planning, structural engineering and construction services that focuses on higher education, K-12 public/private education, healthcare and corporate market sectors. SLAM has offices in Syracuse, Boston, Glastonberry, Conn., and Atlanta.

“As this new signature facility has reached completion, our goal was to create an inspiring environment to learn, to teach, and to work supporting SUNY Upstate Medical University’s mission to be at the forefront of medical education,” says Robert Pulito, AIA, president of SLAM and principal-in-charge on the project.

SLAM’s area project portfolio includes SUNY Buffalo State Technology Building and SUNY Buffalo Kapoor Hall School of Pharmacy. It has also completed similar facilities for Western Michigan University, Duke and Emory universities, to name a few.

General contractor was Murnane Building Contractors Inc., with offices in Syracuse, Plattsburgh and Utica.

Current clients in the CNYBAC are:

Finger Lakes Bio, a pre-seed startup drug and biologic development company that develops screening and drug testing platforms for pre-IND drug discovery programs focusing on p53.

Apta Matrix, a biotechnology firm, is leveraging next-gen sequencing technology to accelerate aptamer discovery. Aptamers are non-coding nucleic acid molecules that have the ability to bind to protein targets will high affinity and specificity. This aptamer technology has applications in biosensing and therapeutics.

ARC Scientific provides scientific services primarily in the area of pharmaceutical chemical process development. Their scientists work with clients to invent new chemical routes to the latest medicines in research and development. ARC also invests in R & D of new potential building blocks for drug discovery, making these items available from our fine chemicals catalog.

Full Circle Feed. The company is conducting experiments on anaerobic digestion, such as characterizing feedstock for a variety of in-depth parameters.

LifeUnit. A Grants fort Growth award recipient, this company is focused on the development of novel therapeutics and chemical agents for treating and controlling biofilm formation and other bacterial activities. Biofilms contribute to drug resistance, persistent infections and health conditions including Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Acne Vulgaris (acne), and many others.

American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project. Genetically engineered, blight resistant American chestnut plantlets are being acclimated from sterile culture conditions to newly installed, state of the art, high-humidity and high-light growth chambers. The transgenic trees will be used in field plantings to test blight resistance and non-target effects.

The CNYBAC is an affiliated partner with The Tech Garden, the Central New York Regional Hot Spot. As such, The Tech Garden can certify eligible CNYBAC clients for New York Innovation Hot Spot Tax Benefits. As a SUNY incubator, clients also gain access to Upstate researchers and clinicians; Core Facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and technicians; shared intern match program through the Graduate School; and incubation insurance programs.

Caption: Robert Corona, DO, MBA, chair of the department of pathology and vice president of innovation and business development at Upstate Medical University, speaks to reporters in the 200-seat TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk theater during a media tour of the CNY Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC).  The theater, which will host the Presidential Symposium Oct. 28 and 29, is one of the new features of the $5.4 million phase 2 build out of the CNY BAC, which includes Upstate's new Molecular Pathology Next Generation Sequencing Lab.