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“Raw Potential” And Three Other Takeaways from NY’s Life Science Disruptors

The Alexandria Center for Life Science currently houses some of the most ambitious biotech startups in New York, not to mention some outposts for pharma companies like Roche and Pfizer. Not bad for something that, as Alexandria Real Estate Equities CEO Joel Marcus said, “was a contaminated laundry site” just a short time ago.

The change Marcus described as he kicked things off last night at our latest annual New York biotech event, “New York’s Life Science Disruptors,” was symbolic of what’s happened in New York over the past few years. This is a biotech community being built from the ground up by institutions, entrepreneurs, and, of late, early-stage investors. It’s nowhere close to the biotech startup hubs of Boston and San Francisco. Change like that could take decades, and for it to happen, New York needs, as Flagship Ventures partner Doug Cole said, its own Biogen, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, or Genentech—companies that grow, succeed, and contribute important drugs.

“Once people start seeing some reference companies, they will gravitate towards wanting to do the next ones,” he said. “And those companies will spawn the people who will do the ones [after that].”

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