For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Don Reisinger
OFFICE: 518-631-9816
CELL: 518-698-7847

June 30, 2015


Fiorello Pharmaceuticals Details Plan To Create 100+ New Jobs & Invest $10M In State-Of-The-Art Research & Production Facility


Company Will Manufacture Industry-Leading Medicinal Products In Glenville, & Open Dispensaries In Yonkers, Syracuse, Rochester And Long Island


Project Backed By Pharmaceutical Industry Leaders


New York, NY – Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a New York City-based pharmaceutical company that applied for one of five medical marijuana licenses to be awarded by the New York State Department of Health, today announced key details about its plans. The company, which has received the backing of pharmaceutical industry leaders, plans to open a research and manufacturing facility in Glenville, NY and dispensaries in Syracuse, Rochester, Yonkers, and Long Island.


Fiorello Pharmaceuticals will operate out of a 120,000-square-foot space in the Capital Region’s Glenville Business and Technology Park. The company will invest $10 million in construction upgrades to prepare the facility for its cutting-edge medical research and manufacturing efforts. The facility will create more than 100 management, research, and technology jobs in the Capital Region, in addition to jobs in its dispensaries across New York State. Fiorello’s four dispensaries will be operated by licensed pharmacists who will dispense the medicine to New York State certified patients.


“Our mission is to deliver the highest-quality medicinal products to patients who need it most,” said Ari Hoffnung, Founder and CEO, Fiorello Pharmaceuticals. “We pride ourselves on truly caring for patients and treating them with the compassion and respect they deserve.”


Governor Andrew Cuomo in July 2014 signed the Compassionate Care Act, making New York State the 23rd state to approve medical marijuana.


“We applaud the Governor and the New York State Legislature for showing their support for the pharmaceutical benefits of medical marijuana,” said Hoffnung. “The Compassionate Care Act paves the way for thousands of New Yorkers facing life-threatening and debilitating illnesses to receive the relief and medicinal benefits they deserve.”


Through key hirings and a series of partnerships, Fiorello Pharmaceuticals has established an infrastructure that will allow it to quickly mobilize and fully operationalize its business in the timeframe required by law.


The Fiorello Pharmaceuticals team includes leading executives with expertise in government, finance, and pharmaceuticals. Ari Hoffnung is a former Managing Director at global investment bank Bear Stearns and most recently served as New York City’s Deputy Comptroller for Budget & Public Affairs, where he oversaw the City’s $70 billion budget. The company’s executive team also includes Chief Financial Officer Susan Yoss, a finance executive from some of the world’s most successful companies, who also serves as the Treasurer of Greyston Bakery, the country’s leading social enterprise; Chief Operating Officer Eric Sirota; and General Counsel Judith Tytel, who both held senior-level positions at Pfizer.


During his tenure at Pfizer, Mr. Sirota led the company’s US commercial teams on four of its five therapeutic clusters. Ms. Tytel served as policy advisor to the Chairman and led a team of attorneys supporting all Pfizer commercial products as the Company’s Assistant General Counsel.


“I am pleased to support the endeavors of two former Pfizer senior leaders, Eric Sirota and Judith Tytel, now senior leaders at Fiorello Pharmaceuticals,” said former Pfizer CEO and Chairman Henry McKinnell.  “They are continuing the important work of improving the lives of underserved patients, as they did under my leadership at Pfizer.”


The Fiorello Pharmaceuticals Business Advisory Board includes many prominent figures across industry, medical, and government, including President of the Pharmacy Society of the State of New York Charles R. Catalano, RPh and former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Homeland Security Thomas DiNanno.


The Fiorello Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of highly respected professors and industry experts, including Dr. Dale Deutsch from Stony Brook University’s Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and Joseph P. Navarra, RPh, FACA, who serves as CEO of Town Total Compounding Pharmacy, a company that provides a range of compounded medications for serious diseases.


Fiorello Pharmaceuticals has signed strategic alliances with leading medical marijuana companies, including The Clinic. The Clinic, which has been in operation since 2009, currently operates three cultivation centers and five dispensaries in Colorado, and has been granted medical marijuana licenses in Illinois and Nevada. The Clinic has agreed to provide Fiorello Pharmaceuticals intellectual property and training services.


“Fiorello Pharmaceuticals has the same desire to serve patients as we do at The Clinic,” said Max Cohen, CEO of The Clinic. “Fiorello Pharmaceuticals is an ideal partner, and we look forward to working closely with Ari and his team in the coming years as we collectively work to make lives better for those suffering from cancer or other debilitating diseases.”


Fiorello Pharmaceuticals has signed a Labor Peace Agreement with Labor Union Local 338, RWDSU/UFCW, which represents nearly 20,000 New York State workers across several industries, including pharmacy, healthcare, and retail.


“We are pleased to have signed an agreement with Fiorello Pharmaceuticals that will positively impact New York State workers,” said President John R. Durso, Local 338. “In our discussions, we quickly determined that Fiorello has the same respect for its employees that we do and we’re confident that the company’s efforts will positively impact New York State.”


Fiorello Pharmaceuticals will immediately move forward with its plan if it is selected as one of five Registered Organizations. The designation, determined by the New York State Department of Health, will allow the selected organizations to manufacture and dispense medicinal cannabis for ten approved serious and debilitating conditions. All products will undergo rigorous quality-assurance testing and only be available in capsule, tincture, and inhalation formulations.


A 24-hour call center, open 365 days a year, will also be opened in the Capital Region. The call center will be staffed by trained nurses who will address patient questions and concerns.


The Glenville research and manufacturing facility will grow, test, extract, and process medicinal marijuana products, including capsules and tinctures, under New York State regulations. The facility will adhere to strict security regulations led by Chief Security Officer Lawrence Stanton. Mr. Stanton worked in a leadership role at the Department of Homeland Security’s Infrastructure Security Compliance Division. He most recently served as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Director of the Office of Emergency Management. Retired Chief Inspector/Commander at the US Marshal Service, Lenny DePaul, will serve as Director of Security.


Fiorello Pharmaceuticals chose the Glenville Business and Technology Park after extensively researching possible locations across New York State. The company ultimately chose the Capital Region for its leadership in cutting-edge technology and research, and its existing community of skilled and educated citizens who are motivated to maintain the area’s national leadership in emerging industries. Fiorello determined that the 120,000-square-foot facility offered the requisite size and adaptability to accommodate a fast-growing pharmaceutical company.


“The Glenville Business and Technology Park is an ideal location for our medical research and manufacturing efforts,” said Hoffnung. “The Capital Region’s leadership in technology and medical research made it the obvious choice for our pharmaceutical facility.”


Fiorello Pharmaceuticals will provide a valuable revenue stream to the local community, initially investing $10 million in construction upgrades to the facility. The company estimates that the annual tax revenues payable to Schenectady County by 2020 will exceed $1.5 million per year.


“Over the past several years the County Legislature and the County’s economic development team have successfully attracted thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment to communities throughout Schenectady County,” said County Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski, Sr.  “We are pleased that Fiorello selected Schenectady County for this new facility that will create good paying jobs and I want to congratulate the county’s economic development team for attracting another great business to our community.”


“As Glenville continues to attract more employers to our town, it’s important to add high-tech jobs for our residents,” said Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle. “Fiorello Pharmaceuticals brings those jobs to our community and will add to our recent success story of attracting new tax base to Glenville.”

“We are excited about bringing another new company to the Glenville Business and Technology Park,” said Ray Gillen, Chair of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority. “Fiorello is committed to working with the community to create good paying jobs and make a major $10 million investment here.”

“We have watched the Capital Region grow and prosper over the last several years, thanks to the ongoing investment of forward-thinking entrepreneurs who see our area as a destination for their businesses,” said Charles Steiner, President and CEO of the Schenectady County Chamber of Commerce. “Fiorello Pharmaceuticals’ $10 million investment in the Glenville Business and Technology Park is yet another sign that the Capital Region is a leader in attracting new technology companies.”


Fiorello Pharmaceuticals has held conversations with local colleges and institutions to form partnerships if the pharmaceutical company is selected by the New York State Department of Health. Fiorello plans to announce partnerships with local institutions in the coming weeks.

Fiorello Pharmaceuticals Leader Statements


“Throughout my career, I’ve always fought to keep New Yorkers safe, and Fiorello is just as vigilant in its approach to the security of our medical marijuana products and processes. From data safety to production and distribution, our top-flight staff and systems stand apart from the competition. As medical marijuana enters the market to help patients, Fiorello has the most comprehensive plan and most experienced personnel in place to hit the ground running – safely and securely,” said Director of Security Lenny DePaul.


“Our corporate pledge at Fiorello Pharmaceuticals is that our first priority in every decision is the safety of the public.  We understand that our products and processes can do great good, but also require great care to ensure the safety and security of the public and the environment.  From our perimeter lighting and fencing, to the facility staffing plan, seed-to-sale inventory tracking, continuous video monitoring, 24×7 security command center  management, to our employee training curriculum, we have planned all aspects of Fiorello security to utilize state of the art technology and implement best practices in security,” said Chief Security Officer Lawrence Stanton, who was formerly a top Department of Homeland Security official and Director of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 


“Fiorello’s security team has unmatched expertise in industrial security and public and employee safety, gained working with the industry to identify and protect some of the nations most critical sites after 9/11. This expertise has been applied in the security protocols, staffing and technology plans for Fiorello’s operations to assure that Fiorello has the most advanced systems, policies and procedures possible to keep the public and environment safe in New York.” said Business Advisory Board member Thomas DiNanno, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


“Medical marijuana won’t just benefit tens of thousands of people suffering from serious health conditions – it has the potential to be a major economic engine for New York State. And by partnering with top national industry leaders, no team is better positioned to turn that potential into reality than Fiorello Pharmaceuticals. With high-skilled job creation and economic development experience to developing innovative research programs and cutting-edge scientific advancement, our world-class team will help New York set a national standard for the medical marijuana industry,” said Chief Operating Officer Eric Sirota.


“Fiorello’s industry leading management team is the foundation of what will be the best-in-class medical marijuana operation in New York State. Led by executives who have amassed years of experience at the highest levels in government and the pharmaceutical industry, Fiorello is ready to succeed on day one,” said General Counsel Judith Tytel.


“From generating tax revenue to creating jobs and investing in the economic growth of New York, Fiorello has a plan that reflects years of experience. We have the right tools and the strategic partnerships to grow not only our company, but to transform the medical marijuana industry into a win-win for the state of New York that treats patients and creates permanent jobs,” said Chief Financial Officer Susan Yoss.


About Fiorello Pharmaceuticals
The mission of Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is to provide patients suffering from debilitating and life-threatening illnesses with compassionate service and access to high-quality medical marijuana from trained medical professionals.  Fiorello aspires to advance scientific understanding, clinical care, and patient education by incorporating medical and pharmaceutical industry best practices into research, development, and education. The name “Fiorello” — Italian for “little flower” — honors legendary New York City Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, who maintained a deep commitment to medical science and the benefits of medical marijuana.