Chinese Group Makes Strategic Investment in Yonkers Biotechnology Company, ContraFect Corporation  
4/15/2013 12:46:49 PM

YONKERS—ContraFect Corporation announced today that the Zongyi Group of China has invested $8.6 million in the company as part of a $9.5-million financing. Meanwhile, the representative nominated by the Zongyi Group has been elected to ContraFect’s Board of Directors.

“We are excited that we have attracted an investment from the Zongyi Group,” stated Robert Nowinski, founder and chief executive officer of ContraFect. “We view this funding as more than an investment. It is the beginning of relationship that will provide ContraFect unique access to China, the world’s fastest and most important emerging market.”

ContraFect is a biotechnology company pioneering the use of Monoclonal Antibodies and Lysins to treat life-threatening infectious diseases such as staphylococcus (MRSA), streptococcus and intestinal infections, while addressing the growing challenge of pathogen drug resistance. The investment from the Zongyi Group will enable ContraFect to move toward clinical trials in a promising new drug that will address drug-resistant diseases.

Zongyi Group is a leading diversified business group of China. Its business scope covers new energy, information technology, investment and asset management. The market value of assets managed and invested by the Zongyi Group exceeds $30 billion. It has diversified investments in the United States, including a 20MW PV power station constructed and operating in New Jersey.

“I also take this opportunity to thank Dr. Lawrence Yuan Tian and Dr. Tina Tianning Yu of the CIF.CO International Group for facilitating the investment by Zongyi in ContraFect” stated Dr. Nowinski. “Dr. Tian and Dr. Yu at CIF.CO, acted as advisors to ContraFect, and enabled ContraFect and the Zongyi Group to bridge the challenges of language, culture and distance to successfully close this transaction.”

Hailing the good news, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said, “As Yonkers continues to attract businesses and to revitalize its waterfront and downtown, I am so pleased that ContraFect is prospering and attracting vital new investors. The infusion of funds from an important Chinese investor will advance its ability to bring new pharmaceutical products to market with benefits for people all over the world. I’m so pleased that Steven Rockefeller, working with Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and Scenic Hudson, has helped our new friends from China recognize that the Hudson Valley and specifically Yonkers are great places to invest. I offer our friendship and thanks to all.”

Groups worked to promote investment in Hudson Valley, downtown Yonkers

Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, Scenic Hudson and Steven Rockefeller Jr., a principal of Rose Rock Company, praised this partnership, which resulted in part from their efforts to promote the Hudson Valley and downtown Yonkers as locations for investing in promising “green” business opportunities.

Larry Gottlieb, president of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, said: “This investment builds on the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation’s longstanding commitment to the biopharmaceutical industry in the Hudson Valley and is the culmination of our BioHud Valley initiative that promotes this important growing regional industry. I want to thank my predecessor, Mike Oates, for his role in promoting Yonkers and the Hudson Valley as an ideal location for this investment.”

Mr. Rockefeller and other members of his family are working to develop a finance center in Tianjin, China, south of Beijing. He is building on the multigenerational tradition in his family of collaborating in business and philanthropy in China and hopes to encourage business, cultural and philanthropic cooperation between China and the U.S., specifically in the Hudson Valley, his family’s historic seat.

Steven Rockefeller Jr. said: “I am very excited that my friends and colleagues from China understand that the Hudson Valley represents an exciting place to invest funds in a setting that offers beauty, opportunities for win-win environmental and economic benefits, and lasting partnerships.”

Scenic Hudson and the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation are committed to finding opportunities for win-win economic and environmental projects. ContraFect is located in i.Park Hudson in downtown Yonkers, near the “daylighted” Saw Mill River that Scenic Hudson collaborated with the City of Yonkers over a decade to bring to fruition. Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan serves on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, which in December 2012 helped secure $5 million in state grants for subsequent daylighting phases and downtown development projects around the uncovered Saw Mill and on the Hudson waterfront.

Scenic Hudson’s Ned Sullivan said: “Scenic Hudson not only wants to see the Hudson Riverfront preserved, our farmland protected and new parks developed along the river—we also want to see our cities prosper. The growth of ContraFect will help downtown Yonkers develop more jobs in existing buildings and will build on the success of the daylighted Saw Mill River.”

ContraFect CEO Robert Nowinski said: “I want to thank the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and BioHud Valley for their roles in promoting ContraFect and the biopharmaceutical industry in this context. Also, the daylighting of the Saw Mill River adjacent to ContraFect has made Yonkers a spectacular place to grow a business. I am grateful to Scenic Hudson and the City of Yonkers for their roles in this transformative project.”

Lawrence Tian said: “This is the first of many Chinese investments that we hope to facilitate in the Hudson Valley. We are excited to help fuel the growth of this important business that will benefit people throughout the world combatting life-threatening diseases. And I thank Scenic Hudson, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and Steven Rockefeller Jr. for bringing me to the valley to see the many great opportunities for partnerships that will promote business, the environment and the arts.”

About ContraFect

ContraFect Corporation is a biotechnology company pioneering the use of Lysins and Monoclonal Antibodies to treat life-threatening infectious diseases. ContraFect’s initial products include new agents to treat diseases such as MRSA (drug-resistant staphylococcus bacteria) and influenza. Its scientific strategy focuses on the use of combination therapies, where it believes that the company’s products will overcome high rates of mutation and resistance observed in microbes.

About Zongyi Group

Zongyi Group is a leading diversified business group of China. Its business scope covers new energy, information technology, investment and asset management. The market value of asserts managed and invested by Zongyi Group exceeds $30 billion. The enterprises of the group include diversified investments in the United States, including a 20MW PV power station constructed and operating in New Jersey.

About CIF.CO International Group

CIF.CO International Group provides advisory services to its clients in a variety of industries, such as biotechnology, industrials, real estate and resources. It has significant expertise across a broad spectrum of cross-border transactions and strategic situations, including exclusive sales, and restructuring in the United States and the Greater China region.

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About Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation represents seven counties in the Hudson Valley. This public-private partnership markets the region as a prime business location to corporate executives, site selection consultants and real estate brokers. HVEDC also helped start the branding and promotional effort for NY BioHud Valley. For more information on Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation or to review available business sites, visit or call 845-220-2244.

About Scenic Hudson

Scenic Hudson works to protect and restore the Hudson River and its majestic landscape as an irreplaceable national treasure and a vital resource for residents and visitors. A crusader for the valley since 1963, Scenic Hudson is credited with saving fabled Storm King Mountain from a destructive hydroelectric project and launching the modern grass-roots environmental movement. Today with more than 25,000 ardent supporters, it is the largest environmental group focused on the Hudson River Valley. Scenic Hudson’s team of experts combines land acquisition, support for agriculture, citizen-based advocacy and sophisticated planning tools to create environmentally healthy communities, champion smart economic growth, open up riverfronts to the public and preserve the valley’s inspiring beauty and natural resources. Scenic Hudson has created or enhanced more than 50 parks, preserves and historic sites up and down the Hudson River and conserved more than 30,000 acres.