RegenLab USA, the American affiliate of a Swiss-based company that leads in medical biotechnologies and specializes in cellular therapies, officially joined the BioBAT life science incubator at the Brooklyn Army Terminal with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Nov. 8.
The event — which included local leaders such as Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Randy Peers; Susan Rosenthal, senior vice president of life sciences and health care at the New York City Economic Development Corporation; and Dr. Eva Cramer, president of BioBAT and vice president of biotechnology and scientific affairs at SUNY Downstate Medical Center — welcomed RegenLab USA’s CEO Antoine Turzi to the massive and historic Sunset Park space.
“This company specializes in cutting-edge cellular therapy and tissues engineering medical devices,” Peers said. “Between operations research design and manufacturing, [RegenLab USA] is going to ultimately produce 150 jobs here and pay an average of $110,000 a year. This is an investment directly here in Brooklyn.”
He added that in addition to jobs and opportunity, RegenLab USA’s opening at the Army Terminal is also about helping an industry that New York City has been trying to cultivate and grow.
“The Chamber is proud to support that growth,” he said. “This is an important facility for all of New York City.”
RegenLab has served more than one million patients worldwide, with regional facilities in Montreal, Venice, Munich, Paris, Dubai, Beijing and Istanbul.
Turzi explained the strategic move to localize its American manufacturing, production and distribution in Brooklyn. He said RegenLab USA seeks to tap New York City’s leading ecosystem of hospitals, physicians, researchers and 8 million potential patients.
“Our search for a manufacturing base in the United States was relatively quick, as Brooklyn immediately stood out as an ideal home,” he said. “We are excited to create jobs and establish ourselves in the American market right here in Brooklyn, a booming hub of bio and life sciences companies anchored by a skilled workforce and vibrant culture.”
Rosenthal talked about the city’s reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role life science has in it.
“It’s an important sector for creating new jobs, innovation, and reimagining,” she explained. “We are overseeing the city’s $1 billion investment in life sciences and commitment to grow this industry across New York City. We want to see innovative companies like RegenLab that work on life-saving and life-changing researching products come to New York City to grow and stay here. “
Recently, EDC announced an investment of an additional $50 million to expand BioBAT’s lab space and broaden the industry in Brooklyn. BioBAT is a partnership created by the Research Foundation for SUNY, on behalf of Downstate Health Sciences University, and the EDC.
“Now we will have top wet lab spaces like this one that can attract companies to New York City,” Dr. Cramer said. “I have no doubt RegenLab will be developing products to support cutting-edge cell therapy and tissue engineering that will change patient care.”
A wet lab is one where drugs, chemicals and other types of biological matter can be analyzed and tested by using liquids, according to the “University Lab Partners” blog. A dry lab focuses more on computer-generated simulations and analyses.
“When we met Antoine, it was love at first sight,” Dr. Cramer joked to the crowd. “He is wonderful and so important in helping in building this facility to develop because he epitomizes what we are trying to do.”
Turzi and Dr. Cramer discussed the types of research that RegenLab USA and SUNY can do together, and what kind of manufacturing RegenLab USA wants to develop.
“It’s just the beginning of a tremendous amount of ability to do cutting-edge innovation and manufacturing,” Dr. Cramer said.