Our Story

Harlem Biospace is a community of biotech innovators and scientifically-minded citizens who will build a frictionless model for turning revolutionary biotech ideas into products that solve real health problems. There is no industry sector more in need of innovation than health and biotech. But unlike software, biotech research needs wet-lab space and expensive equipment. Can we reduce the barrier for turning biotech ideas into products? Can we inspire the next generation of talented scientists to work on health technologies?

We think there is room for a new model to address these challenges. That begins with our space in NYC, where inventors can share an environment, equipment, and ideas with one another. The incubator is located in a traditional industrial area in Harlem now undergoing a dramatic transformation. NYC has nine major academic medical centers, with the second highest level of federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding of all cities in the the country. NYC also has one of the nation’s largest investor communities. Our vision is take early-stage ideas from local research universities and innovators , and help turn them into viable companies — right here in NYC.

Team

Harlem Biospace is founded by Samuel Sia, Ph.D. and Christine Kovich, in collaboration with, and with financial support from, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

samSam Sia (Co-Founder) - Sam is a faculty member in biomedical engineering at Columbia University. His lab focuses on using microfluidics to improve patient health. His lab’s work has been supported by the NIH, NSF, USAID/Gates Foundation/World Bank/Governments of Norway and Canada, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, American Heart Association, and World Health Organization. He has been named one of the world’s top young innovators by MIT Technology Review, and one of 10 innovators in human health and sustainability by NASA. He is founder of Claros Diagnostics, a venture capital-backed company which was acquired by Opko Health in 2011. His lab has invented a large number of new technologies currently covered by patents filed by Columbia University. As a scientist and an inventor, Sam can’t think of a better city than New York City to start a company. Contact: ss@harlembiospace.com

 

christineChristine Kovich (Co-Founder) - Christine has spent the last 14 years in the payments industry, most recently creating partnerships with start-ups that are disrupting the financial services industry. Prior to that, she worked on the development and deployment of an industry leading contactless payment solution from pilot to commercial roll-out.  She has an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University which eventually brought her to NYC as Russia specialist. She looks forward to creating an environment where biotech start-ups can thrive in the city she loves. Perched on her fold-up bike, Christine can be seen biking to meetings on one of NYC’s many bike paths. Contact: ck@harlembiospace.com

 

SONY DSCMatt Owens (Executive Director) - Matt was an early team member of the NYC-based global education start-up General Assembly and helped spearhead GA’s first programs in NYC and Los Angeles. Before this, he worked as a strategy consultant with Stax, Inc. in Boston and as an analyst for SF-based start-up Gratio Capital. Matt has also worked with the founding teams of several science based ventures including Agile Sciences and Innova Dynamics. He is a graduate of the Management and Technology and Integrated Product Design (MSE) programs at the University of Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, Matt served on the board of Philly Startup Leaders and as an Engagement Manager for the cleantech practice of Wharton’s Small Business Development Center. He is an avid runner and when not at Harlem Biospace he can likely be found running through the city. Contact: m@harlembiospace.com

 

NYEDCNYCEDC – New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) 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. Visit the website and blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

 

 

Advisory Board

The advisory board of Harlem Biospace — composed of the region’s leading professionals in life-science investment, industry, and technology licensing — will guide our activities in the future, and participate in the selection of members into the incubator space.

 

Philippe Chambon, MD PhD - Managing Director, New Leaf Venture Partners

Philippe Chambon is a Managing Director and founder of New Leaf Venture Partners, a spin-off from The Sprout Group. He invests broadly in healthcare technology companies, and he currently sits on the boards of Karos Pharmaceuticals, VaxInnate Corporation, Truveris, Inc., Principia Biopharma and Treato Pharma. Past representative investments include Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (AUXL), Cephalon, ePocrates (EPOC, acquired by athenahealth), NxStage Medical (NXTM), Phase Forward (PFWD, acquired by Oracle) and Spotfire (acquired by Tibco).

Previously, Philippe served as Manager in the Healthcare Practice of The Boston Consulting Group and as Director of New Product Management for Sandoz Pharmaceutical. Philippe did graduate research in molecular immunology at The Pasteur Institute and earned a MD, Ph.D. from the University of Paris along with an MBA from Columbia University in New York.


Dr. Lorraine A. Fitzpatrick, MD - Medicine Development Leader, GlaxoSmithKline

Dr. Lorraine A. Fitzpatrick graduated from the Pritzker school of Medicine at the University of Chicago and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. She trained in Mineral Metabolism and Endocrinology at the at the National Institutes of Health before joining the staff at the Mayo Clinic where she became Professor of Medicine and conducted research which includes over 200 published papers in the field of mineral metabolism.

Dr. Fitzpatrick currently works in drug development at GlaxoSmithKline as the Medicine Development Leader. She leads an international team responsible for clinical development, regulatory compliance, manufacturing, epidemiology, and global health outcomes.


Albert Hwang, MD, MBA – Investment Banker, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Albert is is an investment banker with 15 years of experience in capital raising and M&A advisory. His clients include large and small cap biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to a career in investment banking, Albert was trained as a physician, specializing in orthopedic surgery.


Chau Khuong, MPH - Partner, Private Equity Team, OrbiMed

Chau joined OrbiMed Advisors in 2003 and is a Partner on the Private Equity team. Mr. Khuong previously was responsible for operations and business development at the start-up Veritas Medicine, Inc. and has conducted research at the Yale School of Medicine and at Massachusetts General Hospital. At OrbiMed, Mr. Khuong played an active role in investments in Arius Research, Inc. (acquired by Roche in 2008), Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Johnson & Johnson, Inc., in 2005), Cerexa, Inc. (acquired by Forest Laboratories, Inc., in 2007), Adiana, Inc. (acquired by Cytyc Corporation in 2007), Avanir (NASDAQ: AVNR), and Biodel, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOD).

He currently serves as Director or Observer on the Corporate Boards at Rempex, Cerapedics, Glaukos, Intercept Pharma (NASDAQ: ICPT), Sonendo, and Pieris AG. Chau holds a BS in molecular biology with concentration in biotechnology and an MPH with concentration in infectious diseases, both from Yale University.


Lance Ladic, Ph.D. – Director, Strategic Innovation, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics

Dr. Ladic’s primary responsibility is scouting, evaluating and leading collaborative innovation projects related to emerging technologies. Dr. Ladic participates in several external activities, such as ISO TC 229 (Nanotechnology) as well as serving on University Industrial Advisory Boards for Bioengineering. Prior to joining Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, he worked for both Siemens Corporate Technology and GE Healthcare. His interests and expertise are diverse and include in vitro diagnostics, in vivo imaging, advanced informatics/IT and mobile health technologies. Dr. Ladic has a B.Sc. in genetics/cell biology and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in neurophysiology and computer science, both from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.


Ron Newbold, PhD - Vice President, Strategic Research Partnerships within External R&D Innovation, Pfizer

Ron is Vice President, Strategic Research Partnerships within External R&D Innovation (ERDI) at Pfizer. Ron and his group support established Worldwide Research & Development (WRD) alliances with numerous universities and biotechnology companies. Ron has significant experience archestrating partnerships within the Life Sciences field from his previous work in large Pharma as well as entrepreneurial experience from work with 3 early-stage biotech companies.

After receiving his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Rochester and a postdoctoral fellowship with Nobel Laureate E.J. Corey at Harvard University, he joined Merck where he founded and led their Strategic Research Initiatives licensing team from 1996-2004. Ron earned an MBA from Columbia Business School in 2003. Following 14 years with Merck, Ron led business development for Sentigen Biosciences (founded by 2004 Nobel Laureate Richard Axel of Columbia University); Celldex Therapeutics (an Abingworth company); and Auspex Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Chief Business Officer, prior to joining Pfizer in 2010.


Frank Rimalovski, MBA – Managing Director, NYU Innovation Venture Fund

Frank is managing director of the NYU Innovation Venture Fund, a $20 million seed-stage venture fund formed exclusively to invest in startups founded by and/or built upon technologies and intellectual property developed by NYU students, faculty and researchers. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, which was formed to create a pan-University entrepreneurial ecosystem to encourage and support the development of new ventures founded by NYU students, faculty and researchers.

Frank brings 20 years of experience in venture capital, early-stage investing, spinouts and technology commercialization. He was a founding partner of New Venture Partners, the leading global venture capital firm dedicated to funding technology spinouts based on corporate innovations. He joined New Venture Partners from Lucent, where he was a director and entrepreneur-in-residence within Lucent’s New Ventures Group. For six years prior, he held various positions in marketing, business development and product management in Silicon Valley at JavaSoft/Sun Microsystems, Apple and NeXT. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker in the mergers and acquisitions groups of Bear Stearns and Rodman & Renshaw. Frank holds a BA in Economics from Tufts University and a MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.


Donna See, MBA, MPH - Director, Columbia Technology Ventures, Columbia University

Donna has been living at the dynamic interface of science, business, and law for over a decade, serving as an advocate and agent for brilliant, passionate and sometimes quirky innovators that form the talent base of our unique NYC bioscience community. Currently, Donna oversees commercialization strategy for a portfolio of over 1,000 life and physical sciences technology assets at Columbia University, working with an incredibly dedicated team of experienced and rising stars at Columbia Technology Ventures who are transforming the business of university tech transfer.

In her other full-time job, Donna serves as the Director of the Columbia-Coulter Translational Research Partnership, a unique collaboration between Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center which brings together clinical, engineering, and business expertise to tackle unmet clinical needs that can be addressed through technology. Donna received her BA in the Natural Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University, and an MBA and MPH (in health policy) from Columbia University. Prior to Columbia, Donna spent over a decade in global and domestic public health, working with the World Bank, Centers for Disease Control, and numerous state, local, and private sector organizations to improve health care access, delivery, and quality.


Brinda Wiita, PhD - Executive Director of Technology Transfer and Evaluation in Business Development, Johnson & Johnson

Dr. Wiita is the Executive Director of technology transfer for all Global Business Units of Johnson and Johnson Consumer companies. Her responsibilities include technology identification, evaluation, licensing and acquisition, and research collaborations. She manages the Intelli-Ideas Open Innovation website for submission of patented and patent-pending opportunities that may be commercialized by Johnson & Johnson Consumer companies.

Previously, Brinda held management positions in Clinical Research, Medical Affairs, and Global Strategic Planning in the pharmaceutical divisions of GSK and Solvay Human Health. She is a neuroendocrinologist and pharmacologist with academic and industry research experience in Women’s Health and Mental Health.   She taught pharmacology and conducted research at St. Johns Medical College, Bangalore, India and the World Health Organization (WHO). Subsequently, she worked on an intranasal contraceptive and studied cyclical changes in primate brain steroid receptors at a WHO Center for Research in Human Reproduction at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences.   She was awarded a postdoctoral Wellcome research fellowship for the study of behavior and circadian rhythms at the University of Cambridge, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Chicago, and Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.

Sponsors

Flagship Sponsor

wh-logo As a leading law firm in biotechnology and the life sciences – WilmerHale provides critical perspective and guidance to Hb member companies.

wh-logo Leveraging their depth of expertise in optical systems – Olympus provides Harlem Biospace members with a world-class fluorescent microscopy system.

 

Equipment Level Sponsors

 

leica-logo

As a leading manufacturer of bioscience instruments and filtration equipment, Millipore provides the Harlem Biospace community with high quality water purification systems.

 

 

Interested in being a sponsor or otherwise getting involved? Contact us.

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