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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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.
"Treat diseases locally" is a mantra espoused by a growing number of companies but few as yet have actually mustered the means to do so. TARIS Biomedical believes it has what it takes to become a pioneer of minimally invasive drug delivery devices. Its first product offering will be a pretzel-shaped device the size of a paper clip that will release medication inside the bladder, initially as a treatment for interstitial cystitis.
Immuneering Corp. is developing mathematical models to predict whether a drug is likely to activate a patient's immune system to aid in fighting cancer and autoimmune diseases. The company's modeling application works with data from patient blood and tumor samples. Immuneering plans to offer its services to drug makers as a way of sorting patients into subpopulations, to understand the workarounds cancers develop against therapies, and to predict efficacy.