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ChromaXome Corp.

Division of Merck & Co. Inc.

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EPIcyte Pharmaceutical Inc.

EPIcyte has licensed patents from the Scripps Research Institute covering new methods of human antibody production in plants that can lower costs up to 100 fold. The company is also developing proprietary products based on its technology, initially, an anti-herpes prophylactic and a contraceptive based on an anti-sperm antibody.

Combinatorial Biology Begins

Start-ups say they've found ways to create a vast diversity of biological molecules and enzymes--all potential drugs or drug making tools. The trick is transferring genes from microbes that can;t be grown in the lab (some 95% of known species) into onesthat thrive there. Some new firms are collecting microbes from exotic locales. Potential drug company partners are often excited by the idea, but, because little proof exists that the techniques work to create additional diversity, they remain skeptical.
BioPharmaceutical Research and Development Strategies

TerraGen Diversity Inc.

Combinatorial Biology. TerraGen has a new source of molecular diversity. The company is able to extract large pieces of DNA from previously unexplored natural sources, and engineer them into surrogate bacterial or fungal hosts to produce novel chemicals with a high probability of biological activity. What makes the company most unique is its focus on the genetic material of lichens.

Combinatorial Chemistry's Challenge

As large companies integrate combinatorial chemistry skills, small companies try to maintain their {raison d'être} with smaller "smarter" libraries, novel chemistries and informatics capabilities. They're also trying to build proprietary positions with drug leads of their own through 50-50 deals.
BioPharmaceutical Business Strategies
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