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Case Studies • Posted on: Jun 2, 2015

CaroGen Corporation (Hamden, Connecticut)

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The Innovation

CaroGen Corporation, based in Hamden, Conn., is an emerging biopharmaceutical company working to develop vaccines using a technology developed at the Yale University School of Medicine. Highly innovative, the technology’s unique feature lies in the ability of its virus-like-vesicles, or VLVs, to self-propagate. Three key competitive advantages of the technology include multi-antigen delivery, a high-level of antigen accumulation in the targeted immune cells, and the simplicity, versatility and high efficacy when manufactured.

The Assistance

Recognizing the uniqueness of the technology and the broad applications for treating microbial diseases, allergies, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative disorders, the state of Connecticut’s universities, economic development agencies, investors and support networks collaborated to provide financial and strategic assistance to help CaroGen grow.

To date, Connecticut Innovations, the state’s quasi-public venture capital fund, has invested $150,000 in the company through its highly selective pre-seed program. The Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund, a specialty fund focused on the commercialization of bioscience breakthroughs and administered by CI, awarded $500,000 to CaroGen in December 2014. CTNext, the state’s innovation ecosystem providing a support network for entrepreneurs, also helped the company with pitching and other strategic assistance; CaroGen went on to win a $10,000 grant through CTNext’s Entrepreneur Innovation Awards, a Shark Tank-style pitching competition. A member of CURE, CaroGen recently announced it had opened an 800-square-foot laboratory at UConn’s tech incubator in Farmington, where it can work more closely with UConn scientists.

The Outcome

With the state’s investment and strategic support, as well as collaboration from two of the state’s top universities, CaroGen is exploring the development of vaccines based on its VLV platform technology. Working with UConn and Yale scientists, CaroGen is developing a portfolio of vaccine candidates targeting hepatitis B and other viral agents, and is aiming to create recombinant vaccines to address a broad range of infectious and chronic diseases.

CaroGen is hoping to raise between $7 million and $10 million in 2015 to prepare for and complete a Phase I clinical trial and show proof of concept for additional disease targets.

About

CaroGen Corporation, based in Hamden, Conn., is an emerging biotechnology company creating potentially transformative vaccines for infectious diseases as well as immunotherapies for cancer. Learn more at www.carogencorp.com.

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