MassBio® Welcomes Three Life Sciences Startups to Participate in Final MassCONNECT® Mentorship Cycle of 2020

Oct 16, 2020

Entrepreneurs presented their ideas to industry leaders and prospective mentors at opening showcase

October 16, 2020 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – This week, MassBio®’s MassCONNECT®, the only mentoring program in Massachusetts that is solely dedicated to serving the needs of early-stage entrepreneurs in the life sciences, launched its third and final mentorship cycle of 2020 with an opening showcase. During the event, the three chosen life sciences startups presented their ideas to industry veterans and prospective mentors for early feedback. These startups, products of Massachusetts’ illustrious innovation economy and beyond, focus on developing a hydrogel adhesive platform; a gene therapy for idiopathic/sporadic Parkinson’s Disease; and an oncolytic virus therapy, targeting late stage, failed treatment cancer patients.

Boehringer Ingelheim is a sponsor of this MassCONNECT cycle. Evaluate is an in-kind sponsor.

“Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to yet again sponsor the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs through the MassCONNECT program,” said Scott DeWire, Ph.D., Executive Director, U.S. Business Development and Licensing, Boehringer Ingelheim. “We are delighted to lend our expertise to emerging companies who have our shared mission of creating the next breakthroughs for patients.  Being a part of this visionary program is indeed inspiring and it is a testament to the power of science and determination.”   

“We’re excited to continue to support the MassCONNECT program and help the next generation of innovators deliver new options to the patients that need them,” said Tom Moore, Vice President of Account Management, Evaluate. “Especially given the challenges brought by COVID-19, we’re looking forward to helping this cycle’s participants better understand the market landscape and identify their greatest opportunities.”

Following this week’s showcase, entrepreneurs will be paired with a team of mentors, based on their individual objectives and needs, for eight weeks of hands-on coaching as they seek to develop business plans, launch companies and raise capital. The startups will then present in front of potential investors and partners during a closing event.

The applicants chosen for mentorship are:

Limax Biosciences
Co-founders: Benjamin Freedman, PhD; Emily Stoler, PhD

Limax Biosciences is developing a strong and flexible hydrogel adhesive platform, based on bioinspired materials, to seal wounds and promote healing throughout the body.

Mark Therapeutics
Founder: Victoria Bolotina, PhD

Mark Therapeutics is developing novel gene therapy to halt the progression of idiopathic/sporadic Parkinson’s Disease.

PrimeVax Immuno-Oncology Inc.
Founder: Tony Chen

PrimeVax is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company and the world’s first to use the Dengue Virus, an oncolytic virus therapy, targeting late stage, failed treatment cancer patients.

“Massachusetts’ vibrant startup cluster continues to reinforce the Commonwealth’s stature as the best place in the world for the life sciences,” said Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, Chief Operating Officer, MassBio. “We are thrilled to welcome these three startups into our leading MassCONNECT mentorship program and help foster their path to commercialization so their innovations can further drive the strength of our cluster forward and improve patient lives.”

To learn more about the MassCONNECT program, please visit:


MassBio’s MassCONNECT program is the only entrepreneur mentorship program in Massachusetts that dives deep into the life sciences. MassCONNECT matches entrepreneurs and founders with seasoned life sciences professionals to catalyze and commercialize innovation. The MassCONNECT process involves a two-month mentorship where industry experts guide entrepreneurs as they seek to develop business plans, launch companies, and raise capital. MassCONNECT mentors evaluate and provide feedback on commercial feasibility; identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and team up to furnish industry-specific business advice for innovative ideas in therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices and health IT. Entrepreneurs gain invaluable advice and coaching on defining value proposition, developing pitches and building professional networks. For more information, or to apply to be a mentor, mentee or MBA project manager, visit

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