Biotech Company To Open Lab In Farmington

CaroGen Corp. to establish lab at UConn Technology Incubation Program to develop Hepatitis B vaccine.

CaroGen Corp. will establish a laboratory at UConn's Technology Incubation Program in Farmington to develop its vaccine technology research, the company is announcing Monday.

The Hamden-based biotechnology company has four employees and hopes to grow to eight people with the addition of a lab.

To this point, CaroGen has been operating under a sponsored research agreement with Yale, said CaroGen co-founder and CEO Bijan Almassian. CaroGen said it chose the UConn incubator because it provides an opportunity to forge collaborations with CaroGen and researchers at both the University of Connecticut and Yale University.

The company was founded in 2012. Its technology is based on the work of John Rose, professor of pathology and director of the Molecular Virology Program at Yale School of Medicine. CaroGen has a research agreement with Rose and a fellow Yale pathology researcher, Michael Robek. Both Robek and Rose are co-founders of the company.

CaroGen is collaborating with several UConn Health researchers to work on new vaccine research, the company said.

Almassian said the new laboratory will allow CaroGen to more aggressively pursue research using its proprietary "virus-like vesicle" vaccine technology, to develop vaccines for Hepatitis B and, potentially, vaccines for other infectious diseases.

CaroGen has received various state funds for its research, including $500,000 in October from the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund.

"We're planning to raise between $7 million to $10 million in 2015 so we can not only advance the Hepatitis B, we're also planning to expand the pipeline, get into other diseases," Almassian said. "That's the reason we're going to UConn, because we are going to collaborate with professors there who have specialties in different types of diseases."

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