Forms Partnership with State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
New York City, June 22, 2007 — The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has entered into a lease for space with New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and partnered with the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center to become the first tenant at BioBAT, a new 486,000 square foot bioscience center to be housed at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn. BioBAT is a collaboration between NYCEDC and SUNY Downstate through the SUNY Research Foundation. IAVI plans to develop a world class laboratory focused exclusively on accelerating the development of AIDS vaccines.
Under the terms of the 15-year lease with NYCEDC, the agency that manages BAT on behalf of the City of New York, IAVI will occupy 36,000 square feet of space and move its AIDS Vaccine Development Laboratory into the new facility in the first quarter of 2008 from a temporary location at the SUNY Downstate campus. The City and the State are providing $54.5 million for the creation of BioBAT, and the City will provide $12.5 million of its portion for the construction of IAVI’s space.
"Ending the AIDS epidemic is one of the greatest public health challenges we face today, and I can't think of a better place to create the next generation of AIDS vaccine candidates than in New York City, the global capital of the world and IAVI's headquarters for the past ten years,” said Seth Berkley, President and CEO of IAVI. "I am hopeful that some of the most promising vaccine concepts in the next five years will emerge from work done at IAVI’s AIDS Vaccine Development Laboratory and its affiliated research partners."
"IAVI's decision to become a tenant at BioBAT reinforces our commitment to establishing a bioscience center at the Brooklyn Army Terminal," said NYCEDC President Robert C. Lieber. "BioBAT will provide the bioscience companies at SUNY Downstate space to grow when they have outgrown their incubator space. I commend IAVI for its commitment to New York City and BioBAT."
"We hope that IAVI's decision to establish its AIDS Vaccine Development Laboratory in Brooklyn will inspire additional bioscience companies to follow suit," said John C. LaRosa, M.D., President of SUNY Downstate. "Downstate and IAVI have worked together for the past two years, and today's formal announcement is an acknowledgement of our successful partnership."
IAVI created its AIDS Vaccine Development Laboratory to bridge a critical gap in AIDS vaccine research and development. Collaborating with a network of accredited laboratories and research partners across the globe, the Lab aims to populate the vaccine pipeline with new concepts, which elicit multiple, targeted immune responses that demonstrate a measurable improvement over the candidates currently undergoing clinical testing, and therefore hold the potential to provide greater protection from HIV infection.
IAVI's AIDS Vaccine Development Laboratory applies an industrial approach — in terms of scale, scientific expertise, high-throughput capacity and financial resources — to promising vaccine concepts. The Lab is designed to accelerate the development of novel technologies that academia does not have the resources to rapidly develop and that industry will not support because these new approaches do not yet demonstrate a high enough probability of success. By investing in innovations and developing products that have a higher scientific risk, IAVI is in the unique position to significantly change the landscape of AIDS vaccine research and development.
Twenty-six years after scientists first identified the AIDS virus, the global pandemic continues to take its toll. Almost 40 million people across the globe are now living with HIV, and the epidemic is expanding in new pockets in Eastern Europe and Asia. A preventive AIDS vaccine remains the greatest hope of reversing HIV’s relentless spread.
In addition to the City of New York, IAVI has received funding from the New York Community Trust for a major two-year grant that provided early and visionary support of the Lab; and the Pendleton Charitable Trust. IAVI acknowledges the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a major grant in support of novel vector research at the Lab.
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996 and operational in 24 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI's financial and in-kind supporters include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, The John D. Evans Foundation, The New York Community Trust, the James B. Pendleton Charitable Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Starr Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Basque Autonomous Government as well as the European Union; multilateral organizations such as The World Bank; corporate donors including BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.), Continental Airlines, Google Inc., Henry Schein, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc. and Pfizer Inc; leading AIDS charities such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Until There's A Cure Foundation; other private donors such as The Haas Trusts; and many generous individuals from around the world.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities.
About SUNY Downstate
SUNY Downstate Medical Center is the only academic medical center in Brooklyn, comprising Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, a School of Graduate Studies, a public health degree program, the 376-bed University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Incubator, part of a growing Biotechnology Park. Downstate conducted the first federally funded study of HIV’s transmission from mother to fetus. Its large HIV/AIDS program includes the HIV Center for Women and Children. To learn more about SUNY Downstate, visit http://www.downstate.edu/.