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Deerfield Management Announces XSeed Award Winners

Deerfield Management Company today announces the grant recipients of its second annual XSeed Award. This year each of the five New York City-based award winners receives a $100,000 grant to further projects focused on neurodegeneration. The XSeed Award is designed to support New York City early stage life science, minority-led startups. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on March 8 at Cure, an innovation campus located at 345 Park Avenue South in Midtown Manhattan. NYCEDC’s Lindsay Greene, life science industry leaders, and elected NYC officials will attend the event.

“Applicants this year focused on neurodegenerative conditions, which is progressive atrophy and loss of function of neurons present in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases,” said Elise Wang, Partner at Deerfield Management. Research has indicated that 77 percent of New Yorkers with subjective cognitive decline have at least one chronic condition. “Each year the XSeed Award takes on a different focus need while supporting broader diversity and varied perspectives to create better ideas and solutions.”

The 2022 finalists for Deerfield’s XSeed Award are:

  • Arne Gennerich and Hernando Sosa, Professors of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Targeting KIF1A-associated neurological disorders
  • Shardule Shah, Co-founder and CEO Lime Therapeutics, Targeting lipid metabolism in neurodegenerative disorders and cancer
  • Nicholas Sibinga, Professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Microglial phagocytosis in neurodegeneration
  • Amel Ibrahim, Founder and CEO, Bioworkshop, Organ On a Chip for Parkinson’s Disease
  • Alex Henderson, Program Manager, Studer Team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Combining Novel hPSC Village and Maturation Approaches for Clinically Relevant Drug Discovery

Finalists presented their concepts to board members:

  • Claire Pomeroy, MD, President and CEO of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation
  • Nancy Thornberry, Founding CEO at Kallyope, Inc.
  • Elise Wang, Partner at Deerfield Management
  • Joseph Pearlberg, MD, Ph.D, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Deerfield Management
  • H.C. Huang, Senior Director at Deerfield Discovery and Development
  • Jennifer Laird, VP, Search & Evaluation – Pain & Neurodegeneration at Eli Lilly

“Each of the finalists are boldly helping to bring new therapeutics to patients in the area of neurodegeneration,” said Claire Pomeroy, MD, President and CEO of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. “I look forward to seeing how the five finalists use their grant money and continue to make a positive impact on the community.”

“For many underrepresented founders, securing the funding needed to advance life-saving research can be extremely challenging,” said Susan Rosenthal, New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Senior Vice President of Life Sciences and Healthcare. “We are proud XSeed was borne out of our redevelopment of the Cure with Deerfield Management in 2019. Now, women- and minority-led life science startups right here in New York City will be further supported in their research to improve the treatment and care of patients. Congratulations to this year’s group of innovators focused on neurodegenerative diseases. And thank you to Deerfield Management. We hope to see more programs and initiatives like XSeed started by our private partners.”

“I am always proud to support the growth of life sciences research here in New York City, and I join Deerfield and NYCEDC in congratulating the recipients of the second annual XSeed Award,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “This year’s class of awardees exemplifies a continued commitment toward pursuing greater gender and racial equity in life science funding, and I look forward to seeing the impact of their diverse perspectives in the field of neurodegeneration research.”

“We saw during the pandemic how important it is that our city’s healthcare system, academia and the life sciences industries are strong and working well together,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “Manhattan should be at the forefront of healthcare and innovation, and I congratulate Deerfield Management and these finalists on their work.”

The XSeed Award is a result of the launch of Cure, a 12-story innovation hub in Manhattan redeveloped in partnership with Deerfield Management and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). XSeed award winners will receive access to Cure’s ecosystem, including world-class wet labs and dry labs, office and retail space, business support, and access to experts from Deerfield and other Cure resident health care companies, who can share their insights on how best to build companies. The Cure brings together stakeholders from academia, government, industry and the not-for-profit sectors in support of entrepreneurs addressing critical health priorities and underrepresented populations.

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