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Finding the Opportunities in Aptamers

Executive Summary

The world is waking up to aptamers. With a few big deals and a small flock of products in the clinic, aptamers' boosters see the molecules largely replacing antibodies; they've got many of the advantages of both large and small molecules, plus the added advantage of speedy creation. But they still face major technological challenges-including high manufacturing costs, limited half-lives, and problems with intracellular targets. The three players whose strategies we profile here-Corgentech, Coley and Archemix--have all chosen to pursue opportunities with aptamers which avoid their biggest problems. But the solutions also limit these companies' abilities to fully exploit the aptamer platform.

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