The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) yesterday approved EpiBone, Inc. to receive up to $3.5 million over seven years in Emerge tax credits to secure the Brooklyn-based biotechnology company’s commitment to move to Jersey City, where it expects to create 90 full-time jobs. The project is expected to yield a net benefit greater than 300% to the state over its 11-year commitment period.
EpiBone grows bone and cartilage for skeletal reconstruction using stem cells to create new healthy bone, cartilage, and compound (bone and cartilage) products in a lab. EpiBone is a clinical stage company with one product in clinical trials, and two products in various phases of clinical development, requiring it to take on additional space, including a clean room, and hire more support staff. The company has outgrown its current location at the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator space in Brooklyn, NY, and through the Emerge program, will move to New Jersey to expand.
The Emerge Program is part of the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act (ERA). Through the Emerge Program, small to large businesses, as well as non-profits, can apply for tax credits to support projects that meet minimum capital investment, job creation or retention, and other requirements when competing with another State. Founded in 2014, EpiBone is the first company approved under Emerge to qualify for the program’s “Small Business” designation, which allows for increased flexibility and enhanced benefits as the company grows in New Jersey.
“By securing EpiBone’s relocation to Jersey City through the ground-breaking Emerge Program, New Jersey is once again expanding its nation-leading life sciences ecosystem,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “EpiBone will serve as an invaluable asset to our growing economy as it brings nearly 100 new jobs to our state and innovates at the cutting edge of life-changing biotechnology. We welcome this women-owned and led small business as we celebrate International Women’s Day and continue to foster a fairer and more inclusive New Jersey.”
EpiBone is co-founded and led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Nina Marie Tandon, a New York City native and biomedical engineer, who holds several patents and is known for her TED Talks on engineered tissue and the future of personalized medicine. She has completed a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and MBA from Columbia University, as well as a Master’s in Bioelectrical Engineering from MIT. Named one the 40 under 40 by Crain’s New York, an Ernst & Young Winning Woman, and one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs; she is also a WEF Young Global Leader and McKinsey alumni. Dr. Tandon’s passion for science and innovation is dwarfed only by her desire to see the promise of regenerative medicine fully realized.
Prior to NJEDA Board consideration, Dr. Tandon submitted a letter of intent to the NJEDA indicating that if the Authority approves the tax award as proposed by the NJEDA, EpiBone will proceed with the Project at the Qualified Business Facility located at 95 Greene Street in Jersey City.
“The Board’s approval of EpiBone for tax credits illustrates the ability of the Emerge program to attract growing innovation companies to New Jersey,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan.
Additionally, EpiBone’s approval falls in tandem with International Women’s Day. Dr. Tandon joins leagues of women entrepreneurs contributing to New Jersey’s leadership in innovation, a testament to New Jersey’s supportive climate for women-led businesses. Notably, Jersey City is home to the highest percentage of venture-funded companies founded by women, according to a study by banking app Tide.
“New Jersey’s educated and diverse talent pool, accessible location, and network of high-profile research universities makes it an ideal spot for a dynamic, rapidly growing business to reach its potential,” Dr. Tandon said. “New Jersey also offers a robust range of programs to support companies through all stages of growth. Jersey City, in particular, is a model of diversity, has a thriving innovation community, and is accessible via mass transit – all just a short drive from lower Manhattan and major international airports.”
The project will be the company’s headquarters and will include research and development facilities and clean room space. The positions moving to Jersey City include executive staff, clinical positions, research, system engineers, lab support, quality control and quality assurance specialists, manufacturing support, information technology, and various administrative functions.
“We continue to promote growth and economic development amid one of the greatest renaissances Jersey City has ever seen, and businesses want to relocate here to be part of the progress. We have welcomed several majorly successful companies in recent years as they move their operations across the Hudson River and even across the nation seeking out Jersey City where we have become a destination for businesses of all sizes to grow and thrive. We welcome EpiBone as our newest resident. We look forward to the job creation and economic growth that these companies can offer communities like ours, and we’re thankful for the efforts on the state-level to further push this narrative,” said Mayor Steven M. Fulop, City of Jersey City.
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