Accelerator IV to Bridge Funding Gap for Early Research Includes New Strategic Investors Eli Lilly and Company, Harris & Harris Group, Inc., Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, The Partnership Fund for New York City, and Pfizer Venture Investments
Accelerator’s Second Flagship Location Opens at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in New York City, Infusing Early-Stage Breakthrough Technologies into Manhattan’s East Side Medical Corridor
SEATTLE AND NEW YORK CITY, July 29, 2014 – Accelerator Corporation, a leading life science investment vehicle for disciplined and efficient investment in emerging biotechnology research, announced the first closing of Accelerator IV with $51.1 million in capital commitments, as it expands its operations in Seattle to New York City. Located at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in the heart of Manhattan’s East Side Medical Corridor, Accelerator will infuse strategic venture capital, entrepreneurial leadership, and critical product development capabilities into the New York City life science cluster.
“There is a funding gap for innovators looking to build new companies, as more and more venture investors are turning their attention to de-risked, later-stage developmental therapies instead of early research,” said Thong Q. Le, chief executive officer of Accelerator. “We have had tremendous success in bridging this gap in Seattle, with more than half of our companies graduating to successful venture rounds and achieving development successes. We recognize a similar gap in New York City where funding is available for developed companies but in short supply for early-stage research, and we look forward to this strategic expansion with our new round of committed capital.”
Over the last 10 years, and through its first three rounds of committed capital, Accelerator has developed 12 early-stage biotechnology companies in Seattle and provided them with the necessary resources to give each company a greater opportunity for early success. The fourth commitment round includes return investors Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, and WRF Capital, alongside new strategic investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, Harris & Harris Group, Inc., Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, The Partnership Fund for New York City, and Pfizer Venture Investments. Accelerator will have dedicated capital commitments for both Seattle and New York City.
“We believe that there is an unparalleled opportunity to support exciting early-stage life science research in both New York City and Seattle. Accelerator will provide a big boost to help foster innovation in both these locales,” said John Lechleiter, Ph.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company.
In addition to providing venture capital support, Accelerator provides its portfolio companies with access to leadership and critical product development capabilities, including access to resources from partner organizations. In New York City, Accelerator will work in partnership with seven top-tier institutions, including Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Columbia University, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York University, The Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medical College. In Seattle, Accelerator has expanded its partners beyond the Institute for Systems Biology to include Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, Puget Sound Blood Center Research Institute, Seattle BioMed, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Washington State University. Collectively, these institutions will provide Accelerator companies with unparalleled access to technology development capabilities and scientific expertise.
“We are excited to welcome Accelerator to New York City, and look forward to partnering with their outstanding team to transform some of our region’s most promising scientific discoveries into life science start-up companies with a real shot at success,” said Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D., president of Rockefeller University, a new Accelerator institution partner.
Leroy Hood, M.D. Ph.D., co-founder and president of the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and founding institution partner of Accelerator, noted, “Through its newest capital commitment from some of the world’s top investors, Accelerator will continue to play an instrumental role in commercializing early-stage life science discoveries. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Accelerator.”
Joel Marcus, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE) and Alexandria Venture Investments noted, “With the opening of Accelerator at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Manhattan’s East Side Medical Corridor, Alexandria will add a strong array of disruptive clinical-stage opportunities as well as life science platform companies to its all-star roster of client tenants on our world-class urban campus. This is a critical moment for the Alexandria Center for Life Science and for New York City more broadly.”
Accelerator operations in New York City will join the collaborative and innovative campus at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, New York City’s first and only premier life science park. The Alexandria Center for Life Science has become the leading commercial destination in New York City for world-class life science entities to translate innovative discoveries into breakthrough products for patients with significant unmet medical needs. Accelerator is an ideal fit for the Alexandria Center for Life Science, and its presence will bring a new generation of highly disruptive companies to the City’s rapidly growing cluster, as it already has proven to do so in Seattle.