ABCT, Connecticut’s Newest Accelerator Program for Biosciences Ventures, Announces 2019 Cohort of Life Science Startups

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12 High-Potential Companies Selected for ABCT

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ABCT, the Accelerator for Biosciences in Connecticut, announced today the second cohort of emerging biosciences ventures invited to participate in the annual program. Twelve ventures will participate in the 6.5-month-long program that features business education to develop fundable business plans and a professional network. All startups receive an entrepreneur coach, access to active business professionals and preparation to pitch to investors.

The selected startups were chosen following an extensive screening process. Expert scientists, active investors and business strategists rated the ventures based on metrics such as the strength of the team, uniqueness of insights into the problems they are solving and their capacity to revolutionize the life sciences industry.

The 2019 ABCT 2019 cohort participants and ventures include:

  • Abbas Shojaee (Yale University) – MEaDvise is an intelligent chat bot able to conduct specialty medical interviews to help patients and physicians.
  • Caroline Dealy (UConn) – DeMay Bio is developing the first adjunct therapy for rheumatoid arthritis that targets the disease changes in the joints responsible for patient pain and disability.
  • Choukri Ben Mamoun (Yale University) – ELIV5 Therapeutics is developing a new class of antifungal drugs that target a critical step in vitamin B5 utilization required for pathogen survival and virulence.
  • Sorin Fedeles (Yale University) – Based on novel insights into the biology of a new class of microRNAs, TargetSite Therapeutics is harnessing the power of a differentiated oligonucleotide therapeutic platform to target pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in therapeutic areas of distinct need.
  • VP Eswarakumar (Yale University) – Krouzon Pharmaceuticals is developing a first-in-class treatment for ultra-rare orphan pediatric skeletal disorders caused by fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 malfunction.
  • Ludmila Kvochina (Vanessa Research) – The MIDA Project is developing a high-throughput screen test for detection of microvillous inclusion disease (MVID) among patients with diarrhea.
  • Qi Zhao (Independent) – Enrich Therapeutics is working on phenotypical selection of individual therapeutic cells using a unique high-content discovery platform.
  • Tom Wenchell (Independent) – RevMedica is developing a technology platform for powered surgical instrumentation to provide the first-ever powered reusable endoscopic stapler that doesn’t require cleaning or sterilization.
  • Jeremy Wiygul (Weill Cornell) – Developing a biofeedback device, consisting of a garment with embedded sensors and a downloadable software program, to allow users to perform biofeedback anywhere.
  • Vera Nezgovorova (Einstein) – Neurobot is a platform solution for people with compulsive, impulsive and autism spectrum disorders that comprises a wearable and AI-driven chat bot.
  • Brian Adams (Independent) – The Brain Institute of America’s goal is to increase the five-year survival rate for brain cancer patients by implementing innovative noncoding-RNA biomarker discovery platforms.
  • Mahmoud Morshedy (University of Bridgeport) – EnVision is a software program that improves communication, diagnostics and surgical accuracy by manipulating real patient images in holographic 3D using mixed reality technology.

Members of last year’s cohort have since accomplished a number of important milestones. Shoreline Biome closed its seed round and secured its first customer sale, as did LifeStyle CX, a lead-generation system for elder care facilities, and SolAware, which developed and distributes sun exposure monitoring systems to towns along the shoreline. Tissue Regeneration Sciences (TRS) closed a seed round based on NYU tissue reengineering technology. B2D2, a concussion diagnostic, will enter clinical trials in Australia in 2019 after spinning out from Weill Cornell’s pediatric neurology department. Lambda Vision, a UConn spinout, recently launched one of its experiments into space. For more information on these ventures and their successes, read the Impact Report for ABCT 2018.

ABCT also announced the addition of two new members to its team. Karolyn Rancourt Chamberlin will serve as Head of Mentorship, and Heidi Anderson will assume the role of Head of Coaching.

Finally, ABCT announced that Marcum LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC join CTNext, Purdue Pharma, Kaneka, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Shipman and Goodwin, Wiggin and Dana, and AON as new corporate supporters.

About ABCT
ABCT is a competitive-entry, six-month-long program that helps emerging bioscience ventures grow by providing entrepreneurship education and business networking to access global funders and prospective team members. ABCT aims to support the development of Connecticut as a hub of bioscience invention and commercialization by harnessing the creativity and ambition present in the state’s academic institutions, spinouts from established institutions and serial entrepreneurs. It connects this talent with scientific experts and business leaders in Connecticut, New York City and around the world. ABCT supports young entrepreneurs by providing them with the education and networks critical to start successful bioscience-based businesses. For more information, visit

About Design Technologies
Design Technologies helps build emergent intellectual property (IP)–focused ventures and founded ELabNYC, the successful biosciences pre-accelerator program in New York City for research institution spinouts. ELabNYC ventures have raised over $300M, including Yiviva, a Yale spinout from Yung-Chi Cheng’s lab.

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Isabel Alvarez de Lugo
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