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November 12, 2008

New York Fights AIDS With Biotechnology

Medical scientists will soon be searching for an AIDS vaccine from inside a former World War I military supply depot in Brooklyn, The New York Times reports. The new home of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is New York’s latest effort to make the city a biotechnology epicenter and to reduce its economic reliance on Wall Street.

That effort has become more urgent as some of the biggest banks in New York have collapsed or laid off hundreds of employees, raising fears that the city’s leading industry may permanently shrink.

According to the article, the city has invested more than $35 million to build or renovate office and lab space for bioscience ventures; one-third of that is going toward the new quarters for IAVI. The state has pledged an additional $48 million to convert 500,000 square feet of Brooklyn Army Terminal into space for biotechnology firms.

“This is a down payment on an industry that we think is going to be a major tax generator for both the city and the state for many years,” said Seth W. Pinsky, president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

Search: IAVI, Brooklyn, Economic Development Corporation


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