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Biotech's move to Melville from Florida gets new address

A Google street view image of 40 Marcus

A Google street view image of 40 Marcus Dr. in Melville in September 2013. Credit: Google

The much-anticipated move of a biotechnology company from Florida to Suffolk County will take place at a different building in Melville, officials said.

BioRestorative Therapies Inc. plans to rent about 7,000 square feet at 40 Marcus Dr., near the intersection with New Highway. The small public company, which currently employs three people, had been considering the same amount of space at 320 South Service Rd. in Melville.

Chief executive Mark Weinreb said 40 Marcus Dr. better suited BioRestorative's need for office and laboratory space, although the project's price tag will increase $168,000, to more than $970,000.

Weinreb, who lives on Long Island, plans to move the business from a 249-square-foot space in Jupiter, Florida, next month or in September, he said. It specializes in treatments for severe back pain, diabetes, obesity and skin problems, using human stem cells.

BioRestorative employs Weinreb and two others, with salaries averaging $236,000 per year. It hopes to add 25 workers in the next two years, or nearly double the projection it gave the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency in March.

The IDA agreed last week to increase the company's tax savings by more than $107,000, to $224,246 over five years, said Anthony J. Catapano, the agency's acting executive director.

In March, BioRestorative won contracts totaling up to $1 million from pharmaceutical giants Pfizer Inc. and Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. for research into stem cells.

BioRestorative lost $5.8 million last year, and Weinreb reduced his salary by nearly half to $360,000 and declined a $300,000 bonus, according to securities filings.

Weinreb, 61, is best known for starting Big City Bagels Inc., of Hicksville, a small national chain of bagel stores that eventually merged with an Internet service provider. He then ran NeoStem, a Manhattan-based company that charged a $7,500 fee to freeze and store human stem cells for donors.

Earlier, Weinreb worked at Bio Health Laboratories Inc. of Plainview, a testing service for doctors and hospitals, where he became an owner and chief operating officer in the 1980s.

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