The Irish Times’ Business Person of the Month: Dr Elaine Sullivan

Life-sciences company recently acquired rights to breakthrough drug

Dr Elaine Sullivan, co-founder and chief executive of early-stage life-sciences company Carrick Therapeutics, has been chosen as The Irish Times Business Person of the Month for October, an award run in association with KPMG.

Carrick last month obtained the rights to develop and commercialise a new groundbreaking ovarian cancer treatment known as CT900. It also strengthened its board with the appointment of Dr George Golumbeski, a former vice-president of biopharma giant Celgene, as its chairman.

Dr Sullivan, a former vice-president for research and development at US drugs giant Eli Lilly and its British peer AstraZeneca, founded Carrick two years ago. The company, which raised $95 million (€83.2 million) in an initial funding round to coincide with its launch, is focused on developing pioneering treatments to defeat many of the most aggressive and resistant cancers.

Carrick's backers include Arch Venture Partners, Woodford Investment Management and GV (formerly Google Ventures).


The company is currently developing two clinical assets and it has a strong pre-clinical pipeline. The deal for CT900 further strengthens its asset portfolio.

Under the agreement with global specialist healthcare company BTG, Carrick has gained exclusive worldwide development and commercialisation rights for CT900, which was discovered by The Institute of Cancer Research in London. Dr Sullivan said the company has already commenced preparations for additional clinical trials for the drug, which she said has the potential to be a "highly effective treatment for women with ovarian cancer".

In what was a busy October for Dr Sullivan, she ended the month by being named “best emerging entrepreneur” in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.