This article was originally published in Start Up
In a crowded field of companies marketing web-based handheld devices that allow physicians to perform a myriad of functions, ePocrates Inc. is trying to differentiate itself by offering less than its competition. That is, its idea is to ease physicians into using web-enabled devices with a package of prescription drug information.
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As bleak as times may be for e-health start-ups, there's certainly no dearth of companies trying to get personal digital assistant devices into the hands of physicians. Although most of the buzz has been about e-prescribing, that's only the beginning of what start-ups aim to offer.
Formed by Kalamazoo-based Pharmacia alumni, AureoGen Biosciences Inc. is genetically engineering cyclic peptides to create second-generation, resistance-proof anti-infective and anti-fungal therapeutics.
Pain seems as close to a sure bet as the pharmaceutical industry has to offer. Forecasts call for the worldwide analgesic market, already $38 billion in 2002, to grow at a 20% annual clip, nearly doubling to $75 billion by the year 2010. For new drug developers, pain also has the advantage of offering clearly definable endpoints-less pain-and a relatively short duration for clinical trials. No surprise then that more than 200 companies have a hand in developing or marketing pain therapeutics. Among them, the three young companies profiled here-AlgoRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., Algos Therapeutics Inc., and TheraQuest Biosciences LLC.