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Pain Therapeutics' Window of Opportunity

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Pain Therapeutics Inc., which started up in 1998 and went public just two years later in a hot market, thinks it can turn Purdue Pharma's patent problems to its own advantage-and go it one better. Long before the OxyContin patents were deemed invalid, Purdue was struggling with the fact that its extended-release painkiller had become a drug of abuse. People looking for a quick high found they could get one by crushing "Oxies" or dissolving them in alcohol--thus circumventing the innovation in formulation that made OxyContin so effective at treating pain. Pain Therapeutics believes it has a way around the abuse problem.

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