On April 16th, CURE Bioscience ClubhouseCT invited Marcia Fournier, CEO of Bioarray Therapeutics, to speak at the spacious atrium on the Pfizer Groton campus. Aiming to tackle the “trial and error chemotherapy”problem and to help oncologists choose the right therapy, Bioarray develops personalized diagnostic tests to assess the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment for a given patient. As a molecular biologist with years of experience in cancer research, Marcia Fournier highlighted three essential elements of Bioarray: think differently, establish mutually beneficial partnerships and build a strong team.

In contrast to most studies that focus on the unhealthy cancer patient populations, Bioarray studies cancer in reverse by using genes in healthy cell organization to identify cancer markers. These biomarkers work like surveillance cameras watching how a particular breast cancer will behave when treated with chemotherapy. By measuring the mRNA expression levels of these biomarkers, Bioarray diagnostic tests significantly increase the accuracy of predicted chemo-response rates.

Besides thinking outside the box, building partnerships is also crucial in creating value. Bioarray is a member of the Technology Incubator Program at UCONN and a recipient of Avon Foundation for Women and Connecticut Innovations funds. By establishing relationships with KOLs in a national scale, Bioarray participated at the I-SPY 1 clinical trail and reported excellent performance results.

People are also an importable asset for Bioarray. Fournier acknowledged many people who have contributed to the company’s development and growth. A lively discussion was followed by Fournier’s presentation, including the next stage of the company and the reimbursement process. She also talked about the importance of clear communication with the general public, policy makers, doctors and healthcare providers about personalized diagnostic tools.

By Shannon Rao,
Business Development Assistant, CURE

CURE Bioscience ClubhouseCT provides a forum for start-up companies like Bioarray, to share their successful stories, to inspire and to encourage one another, to help solve problems and to facilitate connection. Together, we are building a strong Connecticut bioscience community.