Start-Up Previews (09/2009)
A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Looking Forward to Pharma's Decade of Predictive Efficacy," features profiles of Champions Biotechnology, Cytox, Immuneering and Rhenovia. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Freedom Meditech, MedShape Solutions, Molteni Therapeutics and TARIS Biomedical.
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Imagine an implanted device that can be inserted through a small opening in the body but expands to a much larger size once inside. Morever, it's a permanent device that can adjust to changing conditions within the body following implantation. In other words, an active implant as opposed to a static implant. Such is the biocompatible, shape-memory polymer technology being developed by MedShape Solutions. The company is initially focused on sports medicine, with an emphasis in rotator cuff and shoulder repair and anterior cruciate ligament repair.
In the past, it has been challenging for developers of non-invasive glucose monitoring systems based on optical platforms to separate out the signal generated by glucose from a high level of background "noise." Freedom Meditech, which uses a beam of red light to detect the concentration of glucose in the eye, believes it overcomes this problem and expects to sell its devices directly to consumers and through traditional diabetes product distribution channels. The company is also in the final stages of development with an in-office diabetes screening system that employs similar technology to identify individuals who may have undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Champions Biotechnology Inc.'s preclinical screening technology uses xenografts that it creates by implanting primary human cancer tumors into immune-deficient mice. The tumor cells are never passaged in cell tissue culture and therefore maintain the fundamental genotypic features of the original cancer because the risk of mutations through successive generations in culture is eliminated. The company has signed preclinical screening deals with a number of partners and it's also building its own therapeutic pipeline.