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$105 Million State-Initiated Collaboration Between NYGC and University at Buffalo

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The New York Genome Center (NYGC) has announced that New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proposed in his State of the State address on Wednesday a $105 million partnership between the NYGC and the University at Buffalo’s Center for Computational Research, enabling genetic discoveries that will potentially save lives by transforming how health care impacts patients.

Governor Cuomo’s commitment to vastly enhancing the genomic medicine capabilities of New York State will have profoundly positive implications on health care effectiveness and efficiency for patients everywhere.

This alliance is the product of recent advances in genomic medicine, and is intended to provide new, highly customized, effective and cost efficient treatments for what are fatal and debilitating diseases.

The partnership will also create new jobs in New York State. The NYGC is planning to add 500 positions in Manhattan and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus plans similar employee growth in the short term and more over time.

“The incredibly potent combination of genomic medicine and the analytic power of today’s super computers will change our approach to health care,” said Dr. Robert Darnell, NYGC’s CEO, President and Scientific Director. “With these new technologies, we can begin to visualize treatments and cures for diseases such as cancers, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s, and Parkinson’s. That’s what the New York Genome Center is all about, and as a result of Governor Cuomo’s vision this partnership will rapidly enhance our capabilities. We are grateful for the Governor’s dedication to this worthy mission.”

Kathryn Wylde, CEO and President of the Partnership for New York City, said, “This Buffalo-New York City initiative marks a tremendous breakthrough for New York State as a leader in the rapidly emerging field of personalized medicine, positioning our state as the global center of commercialization and job creation for the next generation of medical discovery and clinical care.” The Partnership for New York City’s Partnership Fund is an investor in the NYGC.

The NYGC will receive $55 million from the State and has committed to match it dollar for dollar with funds raised separately. With this new alliance, the NYGC will be fully focused on implementing advanced genomic research and expanding its application through world-class technology and the best physician-scientists available.

The NYGC, opened in September, 2013, is a unique interactive consortium, a growing non-profit collaboration that is working to turn the concept of clinical care on its head to create a new approach to genomic medicine. Today it includes 16 members, ranging from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo to SUNY Stony Brook in Long Island, to Columbia University, The Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College and The NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York University School of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Mt Sinai School of Medicine, North Shore LIJ Health System and others among a growing list that will now include the University of Buffalo through the Governor’s initiative.

Genomic medicine examines a person’s unique genetic information to determine the likely causes of disease as a result of aberrations in the genetic code. Such an examination involves the analysis of large amounts of data to understand how the disease is related to these genetic aberrations.

For example, with the collaboration between the New York Genome Center and the Center for Computational Research at the University at Buffalo, genetic analysis offers the promise of transforming cancer treatment from its current often hit or miss approach to one that identifies treatments that specifically target each patient’s tumor.

UB’s New York State Center of Excellence contains at least one million medical records of patients in Western New York, that when combined on a de-identified basis with genomic data from the NYGC will greatly advance genomic medicine in the State. In addition to new treatments for diseases, the combination of this data could be used to link genetic mutations to environmental factors such as smoking and pollution, providing new recommendations and public health policies to help prevent disease. This partnership takes full advantage of the rich depth of capabilities, facilities and human resources available in New York State.