Published Thursday, May 23, 2019

May 22, 2019, BOCA RATON, FLA - The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB) is pleased to announce that Beacon of Hope CRO, a Clinical Research Organization created specifically to facilitate drug development in expanded access programs through the Right-to-Try (RTT) law, will be a new addition to Boca Raton. The company signed a lease at the Research Park at FAU’s Technology Business Incubator and over the next two years expects to create 10 new jobs as part of a capital investment of $3 million.

While Beacon of Hope CRO will operate nationally, the BDB convinced them to choose Palm Beach County’s vibrant life sciences research community, which was one of the company’s top deciding factors. The CRO also chose Research Park at FAU because of the availability of talent and the opportunity to collaborate with Florida Atlantic University’s medical and nursing schools, in addition to the rich talent pool available from Keiser University, Lynn University, Nova Southeastern University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Palm Beach State College.

Beacon of Hope CRO’s Founder and Managing Member, Richard Garr, is also the former President and CEO of Neuralstem Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences company. For many years, Mr. Garr has been an advocate for expanded access for patients and was heavily involved in the drafting and advocacy for the state Right-to-Try (RTT) laws currently enacted, as well as the new Federal law. Over the past two years, 41 states passed RTT laws to enable seriously ill or terminal patients to access experimental therapies including drugs, biologics and devices that have completed Phase I testing, but have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In January 2017, a federal “Right-To-Try” bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate and on May 30, 2018, President Trump signed the bill into law.

“Beacon of Hope is the first CRO dedicated exclusively to facilitating Right-to-Try treatment programs at scale, for industry. The unfortunate truth is that only a tiny percent of patients have access to clinical trials, and even then, they may end up receiving a placebo treatment,” said Richard Garr, Founder and Managing Member of Beacon of Hope CRO. “The new Right-to-Try paradigm will create increased access to experimental drugs for patients diagnosed with potentially terminal diseases, and allow drug developers to collect real world data to accelerate their development timelines at dramatically lower costs.  We are excited to be building this new company here in Palm Beach County.”

“Beacon of Hope CRO will be a great addition to Palm Beach County’s life sciences industry and will bring new treatment options to patients in the county and throughout the South Florida region,” said Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board.  “Through collaborations with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals across the nation, Beacon of Hope locating in Palm Beach County will shine an even brighter light on Palm Beach County’s growing Bench-to-Bedside Cluster,” said Robert Mino, Vice President of Life Sciences at the Business Development Board.


About Beacon of Hope CRO: Founded by Richard Garr, Beacon of Hope CRO is a Clinical Research Organization created specifically to facilitate drug development in expanded access programs through the Right-to-Try (RTT) law. It’s dedicated exclusively to facilitating Right-to-Try treatment programs at scale, for industry.

About BDB: The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is the official public/private economic development organization for Palm Beach County and Enterprise Florida.  Founded in 1982 as a not-for-profit corporation, our primary purpose is to attract and retain new industry, business investment, high quality jobs and workforce development through corporate relocations, expansions and international trade. During the past five years, the BDB has assisted companies that have created more than 12,822 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $69,062, resulting in more than $777 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County and an economic impact that exceeds $6.87 billion.  Additional information can be found at the BDB’s web site,




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