March 19, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Partnership Between New York Genome Center and IBM Watson Group to Research Alternative Treatments for Cancer Patients

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a partnership between The New York Genome Center and the IBM Watson Group to study and develop genomic treatment alternatives for brain cancer patients, a commitment leveraged by a $55 million investment by the State in the New York Genome Center and a $50 million Buffalo Billion investment in the University at Buffalo high performance computing center.


New York States investment in cutting-edge innovative technologies such as genomic medicine is creating jobs and growing the economy in Western New York and across our state, said Governor Cuomo. This collaboration between the New York Genome Center and IBM will help make the region a new center for the fast growing bio-tech industry.


In his 2014 State of the State address, the Governor pledged more than $100 million for the Network which will link the New York City university medical community with the emerging Buffalo medical technology corridor, and this commitment was included in the Executive Budget. The NY Genomic Medicine Network seeks to capture the economic and medical gains in the emerging field of genomic medicine for New York State and to develop Upstate New York as a national center for genomic research and jobs. This network links the medical community in New York City with the computational infrastructure at the University at Buffalo and the research community at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. With its supercomputing resources and expert staff, the Buffalo institutions will provide the NY Genome Center with rapid access to computational capabilities that will increase the speed of genomic research and analysis critical to diagnosis of diseases.


Five companies focused on genomic medicine have already committed to either moving to Buffalo or expanding in the area, many at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. In addition to the agreement with the New York Genome Center, IBM is also working with New York State to create the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub. New York will commit an additional $55 million, which includes $25 million to establish an open innovation facility and $30 million to purchase IT equipment and software to be used at the new facility. The Hub will be owned by New York State with IBM as the first anchor tenant and made available to all IT units at all state agencies. The facility will open in early 2015 in downtown Buffalo.


Genomic medicine has the potential to reduce the cost of health care, as many drug compounds currently sitting on the shelves of pharmaceutical companies will find new uses. It is estimated that health care costs will decline by $500 million over the next five years as genomic medicine emerges as a standard of treatment.


New York State is helping breathe new life into Buffalo and showing businesses that we are serious about revitalizing, rebuilding and remaking the Western New York economy. In their recent upgrade of Buffalos General Obligation bond rating, Standard and Poors cites state-supported economic development in their rationale for the upgrade.