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Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund Invests $10 Million in Program in Innovative Therapeutics for Connecticut’s Health (PITCH)
Date:9/10/2015

BioInnovation Connecticut, managed by Connecticut Innovations (CI), the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut's innovative, growing companies, today announced a three-year, $10 million investment in the Program in Innovative Therapeutics for CT’s Health (PITCH) through the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF).

The program, led by Dr. Craig Crews of Yale University and Dr. Dennis Wright of the University of Connecticut (UConn), looks to structure and oversee the creation of new biopharma and biotechnology ventures based on research from the state’s higher education system.

“This program directly aligns with the overall mission of our fund,” said Dr. Margaret Cartiera, vice president and fund manager of BioInnovation Connecticut at CI. “Not only does this program create collaborative links among Connecticut’s college institutions, but it also encourages the commercialization of research coming out of the universities.”

The statewide academic initiative will focus on translating the basic science discoveries into attractive data packages to secure external investment for the creation of new ventures.

“The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a major transformation driven by patent expiries, diminishing drug pipelines and the high cost of conducting internal research and development,” said Crews. “This is the optimal time to launch new biotech companies and this program is designed to increase the speed in which it is done in our state. By leveraging prior investments in academic drug discovery at Yale and UConn, we are optimizing the way research is executed in our laboratories and increasing the chances of commercializing those discoveries.”

“This cross-university collaboration with UConn and Yale will showcase our collective strengths in the area of drug discovery and development,” said Wright. “UConn’s School of Pharmacy is uniquely positioned to engage at many stages of the development process and we look forward to working with the discoveries coming from the teams at Yale.”

The effort will partner Yale’s Center for Molecular Discovery at West Campus in West Haven, Conn. with a lead optimization core located in UConn’s School of Pharmacy and a target expression core located at UConn Health under the direction of Dr. Sandra Weller to create a new, multi-centered statewide academic drug discovery consortium.

Signed into law on Sept. 4, 2013, by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, the $200 million, 10-year Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund was created to provide focused financial assistance to startups, early-stage businesses, nonprofits and accredited colleges and universities throughout the state.

“We are taking Connecticut into the future by investing in – and committing to – bioscience, and this collaboration will boost the number of discoveries coming from our state,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “We look forward to seeing the discoveries that come from the steps we’ve taken and the program in the future.”

For more information on qualifications, requirements, guidelines and applications for the BioInnovation Connecticut funds, visit http://www.bioinnovationct.com. For general questions related to the funds, please write: info@bioinnovationct.com.

About Connecticut Innovations Inc.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut's innovative, growing companies. To maximize the growth potential of each business, CI tailors its solutions and often combines its funds with resources from other financial leaders to provide venture capital and strategic support for early-stage technology companies; flexible loans for established companies with new innovations; grants that support innovation and collaboration; and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. Through all these initiatives, CI has helped bring $4 billion in financing to Connecticut companies. The state’s most active early-stage investor, CI has created more than 26,000 jobs. For more information on CI, please visit http://www.ctinnovations.com.

About BioInnovation Connecticut
Managed by Connecticut Innovations, BioInnovation Connecticut helps innovators speed bioscience discoveries toward commercialization, which is made possible through two key funds: The Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF) and the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund. For more information on BioInnovation Connecticut, please visit http://www.bioinnovationct.com.

Editor’s Note: The actual amount of the CBIF investment is $9,999,995.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Lauren Carmody
Director of Public Relations
Phone: (860) 258-7829
Email: lauren.carmody(at)ctinnovations(dot)com

Craig M. Crews, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Yale Center for Molecular Discovery
Phone: (203) 432-9364
Email: craig.crews(at)yale(dot)edu

Dennis Wright, Ph.D.
UConn Professor of Pharmaceutical Science
Phone: (860) 486-9451
Email: dennis.wright(at)uconn(dot)edu

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/CBIF/PITCHinvestment/prweb12951107.htm.


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