ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A new research partnership in western New York is aiming to speed the discovery and commercialization of life-saving medications.

The new Empire Discovery Institute brings together experts from the universities of Buffalo and Rochester and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The center is focused on early-stage drug research, which advocates say can not only save lives but also boost the local economy by creating good jobs and the formation of new startups.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new academic and research partnership late last week. He says the Empire Discovery Institute is an effort to harness the state's academic institutions and spur the growing life sciences industry.