Westchester's Biotech Funding Spree

Venture capitalists are loving biotech right now, and the New York Metro area is among their top areas for investing.

When it comes to venture capital spending, biotech has been a hot sector for some time now—but never quite like what it was in the second quarter of 2014. This past quarter produced record highs in biotech investment, according to the latest MoneyTree Report from PricewaterHouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). Even better, the report lists the New York metro area in the top five places in the nation for investing. 

“Not since the early 2000s have we witnessed this level of quarterly investment activity,” said the NVCA’s Bobby Franklin. “Despite being more than $15 billion below the peak, you can’t ignore the historical significance of venture investment during the second quarter.”

So what does this mean in New York, and more specifically, in Westchester? Dr. Ron Cohen, CEO and President of Ardsley-based Acorda Therapeutics offered his take on the latest report.

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“Increased venture capital funding for start-up biotech companies reflects the surge in scientific advances that is generating novel therapies for numerous diseases,” he said. “This is great for society overall and also a sign that investors believe that the biopharmaceutical companies that are developing these therapies will generate good returns on their investments.”

Read more: A Guide To Westchester’s Biotech Companies

CEOs like Cohen are hoping that the investments keep coming, but they know it will require work on their end too. Companies like Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, Acorda Therapeutics, Curemark, and ContraFect are just a few names of the other biotech companies in Westchester that are working on breakthroughs they hope will prompt venture capital investments. And they may already be at an advantage based on their prime Westchester location.

“We [in Westchester] have all the elements needed for a biotech hub: academic labs producing cutting-edge research, access to Wall Street and key media outlets, and most importantly, the skilled workforce required to take a drug from the lab to patients,” Cohen adds.

No crystal ball can tell us whether the VC money will continue to flow to biotech companies, but most signs point in a positive direction for now. Assuming we see additional breakthroughs in the field, there may be a number of big investments on the horizon—and Westchester firms should be well positioned to reap the benefits.

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