Start-Up Previews (09/2007)
A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "The Eyes Still Have It," features profiles of Alacrity Biosciences, Eyeon Therapeutics, Mobius Therapeutics and OcuCure Therapeutics. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: CyberHeart, GlycoVaxyn, TheraCardia and Vicus Therapeutics.
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Tubulin is attracting increasing attention as a potential target to halt angiogenesis in the eye as well as in tumors. OcuCure Therapeutics Inc. is one of several firms developing it to treat macular degeneration. If this approach proves to be as effective as anti-VEGF approaches like Lucentis, OcuCure could be positioned to win over a significant share of the market as its drug would be administered topically, not via injection in the eye.
Having focused largely on the drug component of drug-eluting stents, most companies developing the next wave of bioabsorbable stents are working with the same biopolymers. Theracardia, however, begins life with a portfolio of novel biopolymers that inherently have the potential to avoid inflammation in the body, are bioabsorbable and can be engineered to achieve specific biological effects. The company is validating its platform in a stent biocoating in preparation for developing its own improved bioabsorbable stent, one that, it hopes, will promote rapid endothelialization and reduce restenosis without incorporating a drug.
Vicus Therapeutics reinterprets the medical literature to identify generic drugs that could be repurposed and reformulated into patentable combination products to treat disease, with a focus on those conditions that accompany cancer and its treatment.