New Haven innovator Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, founded on research and intellectual property from its CEO’s research in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, was named “Innovator of the Month” in December by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
Biohaven focuses its work on neurological innovation and developing novel products that address some of the most disabling and devastating neurological disorders, such as migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, and other neurological conditions that impact human health.
The company was created in 2013 to fill what its founders saw as a void in neurology research in the pharmaceutical industry.
Biohaven traces its roots to Yale, founded on intellectual property from CEO Vlad Coric, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. Coric, a graduate of the Yale Psychiatry Residency Program and current President of the Yale Psychiatry Alumni Association, conducted extensive research while he was Unit Chief of the Yale Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit and Director of the Yale Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Research Clinic.
“Biohaven is grateful to Senator Murphy for this recognition and his strong commitment to supporting innovation to improve lives and stimulate economic development,” Coric said. “Our goal at Biohaven was to create an organization that is focused on unmet medical needs and add value for our patients and shareholders while maintaining an efficient and high performing culture.”
The company has grown dramatically since starting with only a few employees in the back office of a clinic. It now has over 600 employees and has raised over $1.1 billion to fund its research and development activities. It went public in 2017 and its shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Biohaven expects U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in the first quarter of 2020 for its first medicine, Rimegepant, for the treatment of acute migraine headaches. The company’s data shows that its medicine works for many patients within minutes, restores normal functioning, and its effects can last for two days after a single dose.
Researchers with Biohaven are also developing Troriluzole, a glutamate modulator being studied for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and Verdiperstat, a myeloperoxidase inhibitor being studied for multiple neurodegenerative disorders. The company recently received encouraging news that its study of Troriluzole passed an interim futility analysis after the first 100 patients completed six months of treatment.
“This is Connecticut innovation at its best,” Murphy said. “I’m proud to highlight Biohaven as this month’s innovator and encourage investment in treating neurological conditions. I look forward to watching this company continue to grow right here in Connecticut.”
Coric described New Haven as “an ideal location for Biohaven given its proximity to Yale and highly skilled pharmaceutical talent that sits in the geographic corridor between New York and Boston.” Biohaven recently moved to a new U.S. headquarters on Church Street.