Dr. John Houston of Arvinas Named 2018 BioCT Entrepreneur of the Year
In a ceremony December 11 at the BioCT Annual Bioscience Holiday Celebration & Networking Party in New Haven, the 2018 BioCT Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented to Dr. John Houston of Arvinas, a biotechnology executive whose work has positively affected bioscience in Connecticut and beyond.
Dr. Houston is President and CEO of Arvinas, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing first-in-class protein degradation therapeutics for cancers and other difficult-to-treat diseases. Previously he was Chief Scientific Officer and President of Research and Development at Arvinas, and before that was an executive at Bristol-Myers Squib, where his career spanned 18 years. He is a director of BioCT.
In nominating Dr. Houston, colleagues cited his long and proven record of success and leadership in the bioscience sector, including a tenure at Arvinas that has shown him to be “a savvy and nimble entrepreneur, capable of capitalizing on the true potential of a novel technology platform.” Dr. Houston has continued to grow a company that has rapidly expanded its employment base in New Haven.
Under his leadership, colleagues attest, “Arvinas has become the clear leader in the field of protein degradation” and has made promising deals with Genentech and Pfizer. The company’s novel proteolysis targeting chimeras, PROTAC™, is designed to harness the body’s natural protein disposal system for degrading and removing disease-causing proteins.
The Entrepreneur of the Year award was established by BioCT and the law firm of Shipman & Goodwin to acknowledge the importance of showcasing unique accomplishments of entrepreneurs in the Connecticut community whose accomplishments are also having impact beyond the borders of the state.
Dormer Stephen, a partner at Shipman & Goodwin LLP, said, "Dr. Houston’s vision and leadership, as well as his contributions to the Connecticut bioscience community are truly deserving of this award and we are proud to recognize him for his steadfast work.”
The award presentations were made at the BioCT Annual Bioscience Holiday Celebration & Networking Party, an important networking event for the Connecticut bioscience community, held this year at Alexion in New Haven. This year’s sponsors included Winstanley Enterprises; Alexion; Shipman & Goodwin; Elm Street Ventures; WSGR; Aon; KPMG; and Cantor Colburn.
In her introductory remarks, Dawn Hocevar, President and CEO of BioCT, said, “We are honored to recognize an outstanding leader who has so successfully combined business and scientific know-how.”
BioCT is the bioscience industry voice for the state of Connecticut. BioCT is dedicated to growing the vibrant bioscience ecosystem in Connecticut by supporting innovation, collaboration, networking, education, talent engagement, and advocacy. BioCT brings together companies, institutions, entrepreneurs, investors, government, service providers, and other passionate, dedicated people, to create a thriving community to improve patients’ lives and public health.
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