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Trevena Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Trevena has carved out a niche in seeking so-called 'biased ligands'--GPCR-binding compounds that selectively activate just one (or a few) of the many biological pathways mediated via a particular GPCR complex. By identifying a ligand that hits the pathways responsible for a medicine's benefits, and avoiding those behind the ill effects, the company hopes to develop safer and more effective therapies, initially in CNS and cardiovascular disease.

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Catena Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Catena Pharmaceuticals is seeking anti-angiogenic GPCR-antagonist compounds, and has a license to one that targets a subset of GPCRs specific for lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA is one of a family of fatty molecules called lysophospholipids that is generating increasing interest among scientists for their role in cell proliferation and inflammation. The company says its small molecules have shown early promise in a number of indications, from oncology to fibrosis and neuropathic pain. Catena will concentrate initially on developing antagonists to LPA receptors for the treatment of solid tumors.

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