Raven Biotechnologies Inc.
This article was originally published in Start Up
Raven Biotechnologies is focused on the rapid discovery of functionally validated cell-surface targets, and the development of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) or other therapeutics to regulate them. The company's cell-based approach is built on a technology platform consisting of three proprietary components: cell lines licensed to or generated by Raven; a method of raising antibodies specific to cell-surface proteins; and genomics/proteomics approaches to identifying those proteins and mapping the cell's surface. Raven is currently working on producing MAbs for treating cancer.
You may also be interested in...
Since December 2001, only two privately held antibody firms have raised more than $15 million in a round of financing. Moreover, the older public companies founded on the promise of disruptive antibody development technologies, principally Abgenix and Medarex with fully human antibodies, and Human Genome Sciences with its antibody-driven genomics discovery science, have yet to validate those platforms through successful clinical product development. Even antibody humanization specialist Protein Design Labs, which has marketed antibody products from which it's getting royalties, is still selling for not much more than its cash value. Yet despite a fall-off in investments in this core area of biotech drug development, VCs still say antibodies will provide a range of successful new therapies.
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.