Connecticut Bioscience Achievement Awards Presented at CURE Annual Meeting

Dec 05, 2007, 00:00 ET from CURE

    NEW HAVEN, Conn., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Connecticut's premier life
 science award, the CURE Award for Excellence, was presented to Alexion
 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Cheshire at the CURE annual meeting Dec 4 in New
     Also presented at the meeting, to David I. Scheer of Scheer and Company
 of Branford, was the first-ever CURE Atlas Award for Venture Capital
     In his presentation remarks, Paul R. Pescatello, president and CEO of
 CURE, cited Alexion as the first Connecticut biotechnology company to have
 a product approved for marketing. Earlier this year Alexion launched
 Soliris(R), a pharmaceutical for the treatment of PNH (paroxysmal nocturnal
 hemoglobinuria), a rare blood disorder. Dr. Leonard Bell is CEO and David
 Keiser is president and COO of Alexion.
     The Atlas Award was established this year to recognize venture
 capitalists who have made an outstanding contribution to the success of
 Connecticut bioscience. Pescatello said that David Scheer and his company
 have founded eight biotech companies since 1981, including Achillion
 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sopherion Therapeutics, Inc. of New Haven.
     Most recently Scheer helped launch Optherion, Inc. of New Haven, an
 early- stage biotechnology company that is developing diagnostic and
 disease- modifying products for the management and treatment of dry and wet
 age-related macular degeneration.
     In other business, Pescatello noted that David Keiser of Alexion has
 agreed to serve as co-chair of CURE, together with Peter Farina of
 Boehringer Ingelheim, in the coming year. In January Farina will be
 assuming the duties of CEO of Developing World Cures, a newly organized
 subsidiary of CURE that will focus on the development of medicines for the
 often neglected diseases of the developing world. Kevin Rakin of Advanced
 BioHealing, who has been co- chair this past year, remains a director of
     According to Pescatello, CURE's priorities for next year included
 further development of its award-winning BioBus programs, which bring
 laboratory science experience to Connecticut schoolchildren. The programs
 are poised to move from the pilot stage to full integration into
 Connecticut math and science education, Pescatello said.