Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning Will Facilitate Faster, More Effective and More Efficient Drug Discovery for Life Science Companies
Lab Will Help Reverse a Decades-Long Trend of Outsourcing Critical Drug Discovery Research and Enhance New York's Domestic Capabilities and Capacity
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the establishment of a $50 million pilot "Lab of the Future" in Midtown Manhattan that will rely on automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to make the preclinical drug discovery process faster, more data-driven and cost-effective. The laboratory will be developed by Deerfield Discovery and Development, a Deerfield Management Company subsidiary, and the project is supported by a $25 million Empire State Development grant. The new lab will enable New York State to leverage the commercial potential of these advanced technologies and further build the state's life science ecosystem.
"This investment in Deerfield's Lab of the Future will help our state secure its standing as a hub for growth, innovation, and breakthroughs in the life sciences and help return vital drug research back to the United States," Governor Hochul said. "Deerfield's life-saving clinical research and advanced drug discoveries will fuel business activity, grow and strengthen our workforce, and bring the next generation of medicine to New York State. Support for the life sciences is critical to building a modern economy, and my administration remains committed to boosting the key industries and job creators that will move New York forward."
Managing Partner of Deerfield Management and Cure® Founder James Flynn said, "Today marks a major step forward for the New York life sciences community, and we are incredibly thankful for the support of Governor Hochul and Empire State Development. The Lab of the Future expects to bring new and transformative technological capabilities to early-stage drug discovery efforts at an unprecedented scale. We are excited by the potential of this initiative to enable meaningful scientific progress and fuel economic opportunity."
The pilot lab will occupy approximately 6,000 square feet of Deerfield's Cure® innovation campus in New York City. A critical component of the lab is the accumulation, synthesis and analysis of the enormous amounts of scientific research data that will serve as the underpinning of an expanding artificial intelligence database needed to facilitate a more efficient drug discovery process.
ESD's $25 million grant will support costs to develop laboratory automation, predictive drug design algorithms, talent acquisition, scientific supplies, software, and initial operating costs. Upon successful completion of the lab and five-year grant, Deerfield has committed to replicating the synthesis, screening and software services through a full-scale company in New York State. The lab is expected to eventually serve as a drug-discovery resource for large and small biopharma companies, encouraging the growth of New York's life science ecosystem by attracting other innovation-driven life science companies, while supporting the training and development of a skilled workforce.
ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The Lab of the Future will enable New York State to capture the commercial potential of automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning to strengthen the state's life science ecosystem, while also bringing skilled jobs to New York. The innovative technology employed by the Lab will help further establish New York's leadership in life science."
The Lab of the Future will help bring vital medical discovery work back to the U.S. and reverse an increase in drug discovery and development outsourcing - primarily to China and India - that impacts domestic capabilities and capacity. The negative impact of outsourcing was magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the dependence on foreign countries for essential drug discovery services and capabilities was realized. By making early research more efficient, the Lab also will make it more affordable, catalyzing innovation in the biopharma industry.
The lab's long-term economic benefits include providing many of the research services that biopharma companies need for early drug identification and development efforts and will be well-positioned to overcome supply-chain disruptions. Additionally, the lab will offer the benefits of efficiency, quality, and intellectual property protection to encourage in-state businesses to utilize this facility.
Chief Executive Officer of Deerfield Discovery and Development Michael Foley, Ph.D. said, "The Lab of the Future seeks to enable faster and more efficient drug discovery efforts through use of the latest advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics. This investment from Governor Hochul's Administration and Deerfield will also allow critical steps in the drug development to take place in the U.S., improving our capabilities on a global scale, along with New York's presence in this market."
The life sciences sector encompasses the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies and life systems technologies. It includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts to the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization. Every day, firms in this sector are developing new medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs that have the potential to save lives, while making significant advancements in agriculture and environmental biotechnologies that help promote a cleaner and more sustainable future.
New York State enacted a $620 million initiative to spur the growth of a world-class life sciences research cluster in New York, as well as expand the state's ability to commercialize this research and grow the economy. This multi-faceted initiative, includes $320 million for strategic programs that attract new life science technologies to the state, promote critical public and private sector investment emerging life science fields and create and expand life science-related businesses and employment throughout New York.
Empire State Development has played a substantial role in the overall growth of the life science ecosystem and in elevating the State's profile as a leading life science investment destination. In the five years since it began, New York State's Life Science Initiative has directly contributed to building the sector in several ways: generated $1.5 billion of additional investment, encouraged 17 new life science companies to locate in New York State, and created more than 540 jobs.
Assemblymember Harvey Epstein said, "New York City has a reputation for innovation which makes it a natural home for the Lab of the Future. Enhancing and accelerating the drug discovery process has obvious benefits and I hope the scientific advancements made in the lab, helped by our investment, will be accessible to all who stand to benefit from them."
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State's iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.
About Deerfield Management Company
Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. The Firm works across the healthcare ecosystem to connect people, capital, ideas and technology in bold, collaborative and inclusive ways. For more information, visit www.deerfield.com.