NH biotech CEOs named 'Entrepreneurs of the Year'

BY Natalie Missakian

Photo | Contributed
Photo | Contributed
Trevi Therapeutics CEO Jennifer L. Good
Connecticut bioscience booster organization CURE has tapped the leaders of two growing Elm City biotech companies as 2017 Entrepreneurs of the Year.

CURE (Connecticut United for Research Excellence) presented the awards to Trevi Therapeutics CEO Jennifer L. Good and Biohaven Pharmaceuticals CEO Vlad Coric during its annual holiday party Dec. 12 at the headquarters of Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

CURE credited Good with raising $100 million for the company, hiring a "high-caliber team of biotech innovators" and overseeing development of the company's treatment for chronic itching from the preclinical stage to a phase 3 clinical trial.

According to the latest PwC/CB Insights MoneyTree Report, Trevi raised venture capital funds totaling $50.5 million this year, the largest deal in Connecticut.

CURE applauded Biohaven's Coric for raising roughly $195 million in the company's initial public offering last May, and for "advancing a broad portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class drug candidates for patients with severe neurological conditions."

"Jennifer and Vlad are outstanding examples of the leadership role Connecticut is taking in bioscience," said CURE CEO and President Dawn Hocevar.

Meanwhile, trade publications FierceBiotech and FiercePharma have recognized a product developed by Branford-based IsoPlexis Corp. as this year's top technology innovation in the life sciences space.

IsoPlexis won the 2017 Fierce Innovation Award for Technology Innovation for its IsoCode Chip and IsoLight Platform, which helps doctors predict how cancer patients will respond to immunotherapy drugs.

The award follows an earlier recognition from The Scientist magazine, which this month named the IsoCode Chip its top innovation of 2017.

Launched commercially in February, the chip and its computer platform, IsoLight, allows researchers to characterize cells based on the proteins they secrete, helping researchers develop personalized treatment for cancer.

Also this week, New Haven-based Precipio Diagnostics LLC announced it has filed a patent application for IV-Cell, a product developed to improve the accuracy of cytogenetic testing, which is used to detect chromosomal abnormalities and diagnose cancer.

The company said it is seeking to license or sell the product to a major industry player with manufacturing and distribution capabilities. The product was developed in collaboration with Yale faculty.

Natalie Missakian can be reached at