February 6, 2018

CT life sciences accelerator launches

Photo | Contributed
Photo | Contributed
John Deacon of Cytosolix, a startup spun out of Yale that is developing a targeted chemotherapy platform, talks with CTNext's Jessica Dodge druing an orientation for the Accelerator for Bioscience in Connecticut's 2018 cohort, held at Stony Creek Brewery in Branford.

New life science startup accelerator ABCT has chosen the first 12 Connecticut companies for its six-month program aimed at boosting the state's bioscience industry.

New York-based Design Technologies launched the Accelerator for Biosciences in Connecticut (ABCT) last fall with funding from CTNext, a state-backed resource and support network for entrepreneurs.

ABCT is modeled after New York City's ELabNYC, whose 100 graduates have collectively raised $235 million since 2012, according to the program's website. Founder Mary Howard said Monday she is hoping to replicate that success in Connecticut.

Citing the state's large research institutions like Yale, UConn and the Jackson Laboratory in Farmington, Howard said Connecticut is teeming with young life science ventures "on the cusp of breaking out," but many lack the financial resources and industry contacts they need to be a viable business.

"We'd like to get them on a path where they can start making connections sooner," she said, adding that the companies will have access to ELabNYC's network of bioscience professionals in New York.

The program includes a mini-MBA curriculum, expert coaching, pitch preparation, networking and mentorship. Corporate partners include Purdue Pharma, Pfizer, Microsoft, Kaneka and the law firm Shipman & Goodwin.

Connecticut startups selected for the 2018 cohort, and their potential products, are:

  • AlloMek — Small molecule-based therapeutics for rare diseases.
  • B2D2 — A device to diagnose concussions.
  • CalRegen — A biotherapeutic protein for tissue regeneration (affiliated with NYU).
  • Cytosolix — A small-molecule tumor-targeted chemotherapy platform (affiliated with Yale).
  • Halo Card (Vanessa Research) — A device to treat urinary incontinence in women (affiliated with Quinnipiac).
  • Irrashional — An antidote for poison ivy.
  • Lambda Vision — A protein-coated retinal implant (affiliated with UConn Health).
  • LifestyleCX — A senior care personal matching service.
  • Mission Biomedical Scientific — A wearable monitoring device to monitor changes in metabolism.
  • Orthomedix — A device to address the unmet implant fixation and infection control needs of orthopedic surgeons.
  • Shoreline Biome — A Microbiome assay and analysis software.
  • Vesselon — A drug delivery platform.

Companies were chosen based on their business potential and "capacity to revolutionize the life science industry." Howard declined to say how many applied.

The winning startups gathered for an orientation session last week at Stony Creek Brewery in Branford. Future activities, including an entrepreneurial boot camp and series of "roundtable dinners," will be held in different Connecticut locations, Howard said, leading to a pitch day in May before potential investors in New York City.

Natalie Missakian can be reached at news@newhavenbiz.com

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