This article was originally published in Start Up
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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Compound Therapeutics has engineered proteins, called Adzymes, which bind to targets with the specificity of antibodies but unlike them destroy their targets using an attached enzyme.
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.