CEO of Portland pet medication company considered for regional entrepreneurs award

Posted May 19, 2014, at 11:46 a.m.
Last modified May 19, 2014, at 8:56 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Jean Hoffman, chief executive officer of the Portland-based pet pharmaceutical company Putney Inc., has been named a New England finalist for the London-based accounting firm Ernst & Young’s 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Hoffman’s nomination recognized her success in focusing on development of prescription medications for pets. In 2006, when the company was founded, just 7 percent of all FDA-approved pet medications had a less expensive generic variety available.

“I’m increasingly focused on how entrepreneurs really build economic activity and build America, so the Entrepreneur of the Year award is an important recognition of what is so important for our economy,” Hoffman said in a phone interview.

Since starting the company, Hoffman has raised more than $45 million to launch five FDA-approved generic pet medications. She said the company tops the list nationally for the number of generic pet medications it has developed or licensed that are on the path to commercial sales.

Last year, the company was one of 13 from Maine to appear on Inc. magazine’s list of the country’s fastest-growing businesses, reporting 183 percent revenue growth in 2012, from 2009. The company reported $19.2 million in revenue to the magazine in 2012, when it had 36 employees.

Hoffman said Monday the company has grown to 60 employees and she expects it will bring in more than $30 million in revenue this year.

Hoffman said in a statement announcing the award that she attributes her company’s success to investments in research and development.

“I am proud to lead my team as we overcome the daunting scientific, technical and commercial obstacles that have prevented other companies from capitalizing on this market opportunity,” she said.

And she gives others in the company and on its board of directors credit.

“I view this as an award for all of us at Putney who are succeeding against tremendous odds in building the first successful generic drug company focused on pets,” she said.

Hoffman will be considered alongside leaders of 34 other companies in New England for the regional honor at an event June 10 in Boston. Winners of that event will be considered for an annual award announced Nov. 15.

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