Curemark’s founder and CEO, Dr. Joan Fallon, was announced the 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year in New York on June 26, honoring her dedication to treating a host of neurological ailments through her Rye-based biopharmaceutical company. Fallon was recognized for Curemark’s ongoing work to treat cognitive and neurological ailments in children, including those caused by autism, Parkinson’s, and ADHD.
EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year is one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges, including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance, and the local community. According to Fallon, the honor means a great deal to both her own work and that of the company. “Our team is small but deeply committed to our mission and to what it represents,” she says. “For me, receiving this award was an acknowledgement by EY of the importance of our mission and proof that the size of your company does not define an entrepreneur. Most importantly, I believe that this award represents a heightened awareness of the significance of finding treatments for autism and other disorders.”
The honor stems from Curemark’s recent moves to find treatments for a host of childhood and adult ailments, including a Phase 3 clinical trial for children with autism that is currently enrolling across the United States. In addition, Curemark’s autism drug, CM-AT — the first novel drug for autism — has recently received fast track designation from the FDA.
Much of this innovation is a product of the company’s swift growth since its founding in 2007. Fallon notes that the concept for Curemark began in a clinic looking at children with autism. “The company has grown into one that is conducting a 300-plus patient clinical trial at over 30 study centers across the US,” she says. “We are a small company with a huge mission, and work hard to execute on that mission every day.”
As for what drives her work, Fallon insists that the impetus lies not only in discovering medications for children in need, but also in drawing attention to the problem of autism. “With understanding comes inclusion, support, and acceptance,” she says. “The screaming child on the airplane, the sensitive child in the restaurant, the withdrawn child on the playground – any one of them may have autism. If we just give the parent a smile and a nod, instead of judging the situation, we will have given them the support and understanding they need to do what is best for their child in that moment.”