Sam Sia’s NY Biotech Incubator Already Bustling With 16 Startups

12/13/13Follow @benthefidler

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the space. Harlem Biospace signed a 10-year lease for a 2,000-square-foot floor in what’s known as the Sweets Building in West Harlem. The space was last used as an office for the U.S. Census Bureau. It may seem cramped—LabCentral, the incubator in Cambridge, MA, just opened a 28,000 square foot facility by comparison—but Sia contends it’s equipped with what a one or two-person biotech startup needs. This is an incubator for biotech startups of the earliest stage. Those that, as Sia says, are taking “baby steps” out of a university, or an idea, and need a place to begin working. Once they progress, get funding, and need to take the next step, they’ll move on.

“When you’re a startup, you’re not doing experiments 24/7,” he says. “You plan for some key experiments, you certainly need space to store stuff, access to equipment, but you don’t necessarily need to have your own dedicated everything. That’s not how biotech startups spend their time.”

Sia even signed up for the first two spots to give his new company, Junco Labs, a space to grow.

“That’s why I’m doing this, it’s a 10 minute walk from my lab,” he says.

Here’s a rundown of the other 14 companies that have set up shop in Harlem Biospace, and what they’re developing:

Dual Therapeutics: small molecule cancer drugs that activate the tumor suppressor protein phosphophatase 2A.

Cytodel: proprietary formulations of botulinum neurotoxins.

Ex Vivo Dynamics: technology designed to help reduce complications from blood transfusions.

Girihlet: mitochondrial DNA-based biomarkers for cancer and certain development disorders.

Immunovent: a diagnostic test to detect allergies that can go unseen by traditional allergy testing methods.

—Junco Labs: hand-held “lab on a chip” devices that perform rapid diagnostic tests.

OncoStem Biotherapeutics: cancer drugs targeting tumor drivers that aren’t targeted by current therapies.

—Primary Cell: a technique to cryogenically preserve nerve cells.

—Rho Nanodiagnostics: osteoarthritis treatments that stimulate cartilage cell growth.

AfriVax: a startup contract research organization that develops gene-based products like vaccines, proteins, and engineered antibodies.

InVivo Analytics: medical imaging technologies for small animals.

—Mirna Analytics: Personalized service that helps researchers measure microRNA in body fluids.

Multimodal Solutions: small molecule cancer drugs.

—Symbiotic Health: microbiome-based drugs and diagnostics.

Ben Fidler is Xconomy's Deputy Biotechnology Editor. You can e-mail him at bfidler@xconomy.com Follow @benthefidler

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