The first seedlings at the BioInc@NYMC biotechnology business incubator were planted over the winter in a sunny refurbished building on the campus of New York Medical College in Valhalla—only about a mile away from Regeneron’s posh headquarters. Any of these nascent life-sciences firms can aspire to grow as bountifully as New York State’s premier biotech company.
What each has going for it is a distinctive biotechnology that could enhance health or medicine in years to come—along with affordable rents and access to New York Medical College’s world-class faculty and researchers to help launch it. Any of these sprouts may produce the next blockbuster Biochester product:
Conversion Energy Enterprises (CEE) was originally based in Rockland County and developed over the last decade in Connecticut and New Jersey. The company is run by husband-and-wife team Barbara A. and Robert Stoltz, former optoelectronics researchers at the McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Company. CEE’s technology uses unique light properties of diode lasers to activate infection-inhibiting, wound-healing surgical dressings or precise adhesive joining of delicate tissue in eye surgery. Clinical trials of the company’s lab-proven lasers and materials are expected soon. According to CEE, one in every 24 US hospital surgery patients suffers from a wound infection, often antibiotic-resistant, causing up to 100,000 deaths per year. Such a life-saving application of light energy could convert practitioners and patients into true believers.
MB Group USA started just months before moving to Valhalla, with the motto: “Making the world a naturally sweeter place.” More botanical than strictly biotech, the firm was founded by Long Island-based plastic surgeon Dr. Emmanuel O. Asare, after he learned about sweetness-enhancing “miracle berries” from Ghana in Africa. A taste modifier in the berries, miraculum protein, temporarily binds to tongue receptors to make acidic or bitter flavors taste sweet. For cancer patients whose chemotherapy leaves their mouths with a metallic taste, the berries branded as MiraBurst™ can enhance vital food intake. The company is also preparing to market MiraSweet™, an all-natural zero-calorie sweetener derived from the oubli fruit of another African plant. Claimed to be up to 2,000 times sweeter than sugar, it may well produce revenues as splendid as Splenda’s.
MOE Medical Devices was established in 2010 out of a basement in New Rochelle by co-founder Marc Zemel, a veteran medical device developer and the firm’s CEO. This medical device company has been working on a low-temperature ion radiation source, employing a scientific principle similar to the electrically excited gas technology in plasma TV screens. Aiming its powerful, narrow beam will provide targeted zapping of infectious organisms and abnormal tissue without harming nearby healthy cells. MOE has already conducted human studies, with upbeat initial results in combating onychomycosis (a tenacious nail fungus) and intraepithelial neoplasia (pre-cancerous lesions). A market-ready product should be only a year or two away, nurtured by collaborations with nearby experts at New York Medical College.