- Company Receives $1 Million Incentive Through Economic Development Initiative of New York State and Empire State Development
NEW YORK and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 17, 2018 — BlueRock Therapeutics, which is developing cell-based therapies designed to alter the course of degenerative disease, today announced the establishment of its research and development hub in New York City, as well as the formalization of a significant sponsored research collaboration with the Center for Stem Cell Biology at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center. The collaboration will focus on translating MSK expertise in creating multiple types of authentic neural cells from stem cells to make therapeutics to address disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system.
In association with BlueRock’s investment in establishing a research and development facility in New York City, the company will receive $1 million from the State of New York and Empire State Development under its economic development initiatives program, and may be eligible for additional future tax incentives as the program matures. The program aims to create or retain jobs, generate increased economic activity and improve the economic and social viability and vitality of local communities.
“The establishment of BlueRock’s R&D hub in New York marks a tremendous milestone for the company as it will serve as the location for the development of our neuroscience program and positions us in close proximity to our collaborators, Drs. Studer and Tabar, which will speed our R&D efforts,” said Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D., president and CEO of BlueRock. “We plan to rapidly expand our team in New York City to drive our neuroscience R&D efforts, and we look forward to tapping into the workforce in one of the strongest innovation clusters in the world.”
Through its collaboration with MSK, BlueRock scientists will work with two world renowned stem cell scientists: Lorenz Studer, M.D., founder and director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology at MSK, a scientific co-founder of BlueRock Therapeutics, and recipient of the 2015 MacArthur Genius Award and the 2017 Ogawa-Yamanaka Stem Cell Prize; and Viviane Tabar, M.D., newly announced Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at MSK and founding investigator of BlueRock Therapeutics, who was recently elected into the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Studer is a global leader in the field of developing neural cells from stem cells and his expertise will be leveraged by BlueRock in the development of stem cell-derived, dopamine producing neurons, for the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, BlueRock will leverage Dr. Studer’s protocols for creating a broad range of different neural cells which have the potential to address numerous disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system.
“This new facility in New York will allow for a closer and more effective collaboration between myself, MSK and the world class scientific team that BlueRock has formed,” said Dr. Studer. “Together we will work to develop numerous types of neural cells as cell-therapies for the millions of patients worldwide who suffer from neurodegenerative disorders caused by cell death or dysfunction, starting with Parkinson’s disease.”
In addition to running an innovative research program in her lab at MSK, Dr. Tabar will perform the essential role of transplant surgeon in the first-in-human clinical trial of BlueRock’s Parkinson’s disease cell therapy.
“Our collaboration with BlueRock represents a significant opportunity to effectively and efficiently develop an entirely new class of cell-based treatments for patients with previously intractable neurodegenerative diseases,” said Dr. Tabar. “As a physician scientist, I look forward to working with this team on advancing these promising therapeutics into the clinic where we hope to see disease-altering impact on patient lives.”
BlueRock is building out its 7,800 square-foot research and development hub within The Alexandria Center for Life Science, a state-of-the-art research and development campus that serves as the flagship location for New York City’s expanding life sciences sector. Strategically located between Bellevue Hospital and NYU Medical Center along Manhattan’s East Side Medical Corridor, BlueRock will have access to top academic and medical institutions as well as major hospitals, an unmatched concentration of scientific, clinical and entrepreneurial talent, top tier investment capital, and a diverse and innovative commercial life science industry.
BlueRock, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., also has a research, development and manufacturing hub in Toronto.
About BlueRock Therapeutics
Driven by a vision to liberate patients from the burden of degenerative disease, BlueRock Therapeutics is ushering in a new era of cell-based medicine that repairs the body when it cannot repair itself. Founded in 2016 through one of the largest Series A financings in biotech history, BlueRock and its team of preeminent scientists are pioneering cell therapies that replace dead, damaged or dysfunctional cells to restore critical natural functions in the body. Using an approach that can be applied to multiple diseases with great unmet need, BlueRock is initially targeting severe brain and heart conditions, with the goal of altering the course of disease and drastically improving quality of life. BlueRock’s culture is defined by scientific innovation, highest ethical standards and an urgency to bring transformative treatments to all who would benefit. For more information, visit www.bluerocktx.com.