PharmaMar: Angling for Success
The financial backing of parent company Zeltia has allowed Spain's largest biotech PharmaMar to play a bolder game than it might have otherwise.
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CTG Pharma SRL's founders believe that the unique properties of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) hold the key to exciting new anti-inflammatory therapeutics. The Italian start-up plans to tag already-approved compounds with an H2S-releasing molecule. The strategy has several potential advantages: it would create novel chemical entities, it would reduce the risks of drug development, and it could be applied with a variety of drugs.
Patent expiries in Europe on proteins such as EPO and interferon alpha may open up a huge market for cheaper versions of these proteins-one which GeneMedix and others are preparing to tap into. But it's a risky game, since there's still no regulatory process in Europe for approving such products.
Endocube, a French firm set up in 2001, aims to get at the genetic roots of inflammatory processes by investigating previously undescribed enzymes located on the surface of cuboidal cells--endothelial cells that have turned cube-like as a result of chronic inflammation.