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Start-Up Previews

Executive Summary

A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Start-Ups Against Inflammation," features profiles of Asphleia Pharmaceuticals, Calistoga Pharmaceuticals, ProtAb Ltd., and Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: CG Therapeutics, Healionics, Mpathy Medical Devices and Pronostics.

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Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals is developing a new class of lipid mediators, dubbed resolvins, which are generated through the oxidation of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Although omega-3 fatty acids have long been heralded for their reputed ability to reduce inflammation, many grams of omega-3 fatty acids have to be consumed to produce any physiological effect. In contrast, Resolvyx says its resolvins are potent at low milligram quantities and so are good candidates for commercialization as drugs. Resolvyx is advancing two programs into the clinic.

Asphelia Pharmaceuticals Inc.

In an era of high-tech medicine, of painstakingly designed molecular inhibitors and personalized medicine driven by genetic responses to drugs, Asphelia Pharmaceuticals is placing its bets on a primitive technology: intestinal worms, known as helminthes. Helminthes release proteins that boost the activity of regulatory T-cells, and the antigens they produce appear to influence a variety of targets. Asphelia is developing helminthes as an oral treatment for Crohn's and other autoimmune diseases. Also in the company's pipeline, a novel oral compound that targets integrins in order to treat immunological and inflammatory disorders.

CG Therapeutics Inc.

It sometimes happens that a medicine developed for one purpose is discovered to work wonderfully well in other, initially unanticipated indications. The founders of CG Therapeutics believe they can benefit from just such serendipity. The start-up company is developing a molecule first pursued at Ohio State University as a long-acting contraceptive some 30 years ago, now as a cancer vaccine meant to treat solid tumors.

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