NYC funds seed biotech projects with $5M in cash

The New York City Investment Fund, a group founded by private equity guru Henry Kravis, is putting up $5 million to help burnish the Big Apple's rep in biotech R&D circles.

The money is earmarked for the Translational Research Fund, which the city is using to gin new bioscience work. The first $1.25 million will be invested in three to five developers embarking on a journey of discovery through the valley of death--the early R&D work where seed funds can be hardest to find. For New York, it's also a chance to help back an industry that has been long on promise and short on performance. For a city that is home to some of the world's top drug scientists, a reputation for high costs has scared away start-up biotechs.

The Wall Street Journal notes that  a group of up to 10 venture capitalists will call the shots. Philippe Chambon of New Leaf Venture Partners, Carl Gordon of OrbiMed Advisors, Elaine Jones of Pfizer Ventures, Dennis Purcell of Aisling Capital and Geoffrey Smith of Ascent Biomedical Ventures have signed on so far.

- read the story in the Wall Street Journal