On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new, groundbreaking public-private research collaboration to advance the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases.
The New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center Laboratory and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases, will collaborate to potentially develop improved diagnostics, prophylactics, and therapeutics for the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases, starting with Lyme disease.
Regeneron and the Wadsworth Center Laboratory will jointly research how the causative agent of Lyme disease, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, replicates when a human is bitten by a tick carrying the bacterium, and how the host’s immune response is activated. This information will potentially advance the development of improved diagnostics, prophylactics, and new therapeutics. Over the course of five years, Regeneron will invest up to $48 million in this research and the state will reimburse 50 percent of Regeneron’s research costs up to a total reimbursement of $24 million through the New York State Life Sciences Initiative. Additionally, up to $6 million will be provided to Wadsworth Center Laboratory through the Life Sciences Initiative.
“This public-private collaboration harnesses the expertise of a world-leading biotech company to tackle one of the most pressing public health issues of our time,” Governor Cuomo said. “Together, Regeneron and the Wadsworth Center Laboratory have the potential to advance health research, develop life-saving treatments for Lyme disease, and address major gaps in our knowledge of tick-borne illnesses. New York is proud to help bolster our world-class, life sciences industry while investing in a safer, healthier Empire State for all.”
Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “The Department’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory is home to some of the nation’s premier research scientists, and by partnering with a first-class organization like Regeneron, we are taking a significant step forward in developing a more accurate and efficient test to diagnose and ultimately treat these devastating diseases. Governor Cuomo understands the important role research plays in improving the health and well-being of New Yorkers.”
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