Start-Up Previews (10/2007)
A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Cardiovascular Drug Start-Ups," features profiles of AcelleRX Therapeutics, BioVascular, Nile Therapeutics and VIA Pharmaceuticals. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: JenaValve, Moberg Derma, ProtAffin, and Virtual Ports.
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Swedish dermatology specialty pharma Moberg Derma AB is using its Kaprolac platform to build a portfolio of non-steroidal, topical treatments that it thinks will have improved therapeutic outcomes and mitigated side-effect profiles. Kaprolac is a combination of several well-known, safe dermatological compounds that have given rise to a potential 10 new treatments in Moberg Derma's pipeline.
There's a lot of excitement around the new insights that vulnerable plaque, a certain kind of inflammatory plaque, is the culprit in myocardial infarction, but so far, no one has figured out how to treat it. Thomas Quertermous of Stanford has identified inflammatory pathways that contribute to atherosclerosis and Via Pharmaceuticals was formed to develop a drug, already tested extensively in humans, that emanated from his research program.
AcelleRX Therapeutics aims to help people who suffer a myocardial infarction (MI) or chronic heart failure (HF) via a gene or protein capable of recruiting stem cells to help repair the heart. If the science can be successfully commercialized, this spin-out from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio could have a big impact on a big slice of the market.