State allocates first $5 million for Trudeau-Clarkson partnership

SARANAC LAKE – The state has made the first payment on a $35 million biotech partnership between Trudeau Institute and Clarkson University.

The Saranac Lake-based nonprofit biomedical research center has been awarded an initial $5 million to cover a portion of the costs of its ongoing programs, operations and staffing, according to a press release issued Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

“The institute will continue to operate and expand its research laboratory to conduct biomedical research in New York state including aging, cancer, influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and Lyme disease,” the release states. “Trudeau will also expand its existing contract research capabilities for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and biomedical engineering companies, leveraging its expertise and world-class experimental animal facilities and unique CDC-certified laboratories for investigating immunity to Select Agent pathogens for biodefense.”

Cuomo announced the Trudeau-Clarkson partnership at a November event in Lake Placid. He said the initiative will stabilize and save roughly 80 jobs at the institute, attract new investment, grow a biotech cluster in Saranac Lake and potentially bring hundreds of new jobs to the North Country.

“I’m pleased to announce that today’s first round of funding officially moves the joint-venture between Clarkson University and the Trudeau Institute forward,” Cuomo said in the Monday press release. “This partnership harnesses the assets of the North Country to position the region as a premier destination for the growing biotech field, creating jobs and bolstering this industry in the region.”

The state will invest $35 million over five years to establish and coordinate scientific research and expand education and technology-based economic development between Trudeau and Clarkson. The governor’s office says the two will put in place the faculty, facilities and educational programs to make the cluster self-sustaining and develop other funding and business opportunities to sustain a new business model for future operations.

“This investment by New York state supporting the strategic alliance between Clarkson University and Trudeau Institute will leverage complementary strengths of our faculties,” Trudeau President, Director and CEO Ronald Goldfarb said in the press release. “Our synergistic expertise will further cultivate the emerging biotechnology industry as an engine for economic development and the creation of new jobs in the North Country.”

“Clarkson University and the Trudeau Institute greatly appreciate the opportunity to move quickly to develop the emerging biotech partnership between both entities,” said Clarkson President Tony Collins. “The governor and New York state are truly jump starting this venture.”