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.