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Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Enanta Pharmaceuticals is using its stereochemistry-based technologies to modify existing macrolide antibiotics, generating novel analogs with improved potency against resistant microbes.

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The introduction of new anti-infective drugs has not kept pace with the ability of bacteria to resist and render ineffective just about all antibiotics developed since the late 1920's. Influenza, hepatitis, pneumonia, meningitis, AIDS, tuberculosis and plenty of other infections are killing people, and not just in third world countries. In the US, infection is the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. Since the mid-90's, the seriousness of the bacterial drug resistance problem has caused pharmaceutical companies to redouble their R&D efforts. And the problem has spawned a new industry of start-ups as well. Elitra Pharmaceuticals and Arrow Therapeutics hope to add to the anti-infective armamentarium with drugs that attack targets necessary for bacterial growth and survival. EluSys Therapeutics has an immunological approach, taking advantage of bispecific antibodies to clear toxins and pathogens from the bloodstream. Paratek Pharmaceuticals has taken a different approach. It's attacking the mechanism of resistance directly.

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Wound Solutions Ltd. looks to the paradigm of patient self-care in diabetes to address the gaps in chronic wound care, where the feedback provided by blood glucose monitoring encourages changes in behavior. A small device that is placed under a compression bandage helps patients with venous leg ulcers comply with the steps they should be taking to support wound healing, in the process, collecting data that helps clinicians make informed therapy decisions.

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The treatment of chronic wounds is challenging, not only because of the underlying biology, but also because of more practical considerations: fragmentation in the care settings, the logistics of delivering products to patients, and the costs of chronic care. Next generation advanced wound care companies are engineering solutions to these problems.

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