CONTACT: Erin Nichols, (210) 207-3996
Ed Davis, 210-326-9344
SAN ANTONIO, TX (Sept. 3, 2019) – The Board of the San Antonio Economic Development Corporation (SAEDC), which includes City representation by Mayor Ron Nirenberg (President of the Board) and City Manager Erik Walsh, has selected Corey Levenson, Ph.D. to fill the newly created role of San Antonio Military Medical Innovation Director for the SAEDC. The SAMMI Director will be responsible for identifying and facilitating collaboration opportunities between military medical units and local entrepreneurs, research institutions, universities, and private industry to develop innovative trauma and critical care products and technologies for treating wounded warriors.
“As Military City USA, we recognize the importance of partnering with our military in developing new medical products and technologies needed for the battlefield,” said Mayor Nirenberg. “Through Dr. Levenson’s leadership, we plan to help our military medical partners meet their requirements while at the same time create community commercialization opportunities in San Antonio, resulting in new bioscience companies, jobs, and investment.”
Dr. Levenson has more than 30 years of scientific and business management experience in the life science and pharmaceutical industries in environments ranging from start-ups to global Big Pharma. In addition, he’s led scientific teams that drove the development of three commercially launched products – two prescription anti-leukemia drugs and an over-the-counter dermatology product. He also worked eight years at ILEX Oncology, Inc. in San Antonio where he led the company’s licensing and technology assessment activities. Most recently, Dr. Levenson served as Senior Director of New Product and Scientific Development at GenCure, a subsidiary of BioBridge Global, located in San Antonio.
“As our primary liaison between military medical research organizations and the local community, Corey’s experience and expertise will be invaluable as we continue implementation of the Military Life Science Commercialization Action Plan,” said City Manager Walsh. “He already has sound working relationships with several of our key research institutions, including UT Health San Antonio, UTSA, BioBridge Global, Texas BioMed, and the Southwest Research Institute. We’re confident he’s the right person to help us identify and develop new opportunities for partnerships and collaborations with the military for mutual benefit.”
San Antonio is home to several leading military medical research missions including the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR), the Navy Medical Research Unit San Antonio (NAMRU-SA), and the Air Force’s 59th Medical Wing. The 2018 San Antonio Chamber Economic Impact Study of the Healthcare and Bioscience Industry estimates that local military medical programs contribute $4.6 billion annually to the City’s economy. Along with local private medical and academic research institutions, such as Texas BioMed, Southwest Research Institute, BioBridge Global, UTSA and UT Health SA, military medical missions provide tremendous prospects for partnerships and life science commercialization opportunities.
In August 2017, the City’s Economic Development Department formed a Military Life Science Working Group of local industry, academic, and military leaders, which led to the completion of the San Antonio Military Life Science Commercialization Action Plan in August 2018. The Action Plan details the need for a formal partnership between various bioscience industry partners and a full-time position dedicated to navigating the unique culture and hierarchy of the military tech transfer system while supporting entrepreneurial growth out of military medical research.
The Action Plan recommended implementation in two phases. Phase I focused on identifying potential near-term commercialization opportunities, establishing partnerships between the military and community medical research entities, aligning key government and community stakeholders, and developing a Charter outlining a strategic execution plan. This Phase was completed through the SAEDC in March 2019, resulting in the approval of the San Antonio Military Life Science Commercialization Charter by the SAEDC Board on April 1, 2019. Phase II includes establishment of the SAMMI Director to implement the Charter and coordinate the development of a local alliance that will provide long-term sustainability and funding for the project.
In June of this year, City Council approved the establishment of the SAMMI Director position within SAEDC and also approved $300,000 in grant funding for the SAEDC to help fund this new full-time position over three years. Dr. Levenson will begin working at the SAEDC on October 1, 2019.
“The selection of Dr. Corey Levenson as SAMMI Director culminates a two-year planning effort across our life science community and we are now poised to capitalize on the immense medical research ongoing in San Antonio,” said Ed Davis, Executive Director of the SAEDC. “This has been a community-wide effort, and we fully expect Dr. Levenson to strengthen and build on the existing partnerships and collaborations with military medicine.”
For more information on the San Antonio Military Life Science Commercialization Action Plan and the SAMMI Director Position, please visit our website, https://www.sanantonio.gov/edd.