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Start-Up Previews (6/07)

Executive Summary

A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group: A New Perspective on Cancer Immunotherapy, features profiles of Apthera, Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Pique Therapeutics and Vaxon. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Acceleron Pharma, CTG Pharma, ImVisioN, and Innovent Medical.

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Innovent Medical Solutions Ltd.

Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP), the second most common infection in the ICU, is caused when infected secretions that accumulate in and around the endotracheal tube leak into the lungs. Innovent Medical Solutions Ltd. intends to reduce both the incidence and the cost of treating VAP with noninvasive technology that mimics nature's own method for clearing airways: the cough. T In addition to decreasing the number of VAP cases by 50%, the company thinks its technology will also facilitate more use of noninvasive facemask ventilation, leading to an improvement in the quality of life for ICU patients.

Vaxon Biotech

Vaxon Biotech is developing therapeutic vaccines that stimulate the immune system to attack cancer cells without harming normal tissue, for a range of indications including prostate, lung, breast, hepatocellular, pancreatic and colon cancer. Based near Paris, Vaxon says it is the first company to develop therapeutic vaccines to treat existing cancers using optimized cryptic peptides, which appear to escape tolerance mechanisms, suggesting their potential in cancer immunotherapy.

Pique Therapeutics Inc.

Many attempts to develop therapeutic cancer vaccines have focused on boosting immune system response to vanquish naturally immunogenic tumors. Pique Therapeutics is instead creating vaccines against non-immunogenic tumors, which since they don't stimulate the immune system, have never developed a way to evade it. Pique reasons that if those tumors can be made visible to the immune system, they will prove more susceptible to being overcome than tumors that are accustomed to fighting.

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