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NeurogesX Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

By initially focusing on compounds and targets for which some efficacy and safety data is already available, two year-old NeurogesX has already managed to produce three clinical candidates for treating pain. The most advanced is a transdermal capsaicin-based patch for treating neuropathic pain.

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AureoGen Biosciences Inc.

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 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.

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Ambrx is using its technology for engineering proteins with novel amino acids--beyond the 20 that oocur in nature--to enhance the properties of proteins whose potential therapeutic uses, as well as liabilities, are known.

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