Mentoring program advances early-stage biotechs

In the wake of BIO's 2006 annual gathering in Chicago, a local biotech group formed Propel, an organization that mentors fledgling drug developers. "Entrepreneurs tend to focus totally on what they're doing. They see their tree, not the forest, and need outside perspective to see the bigger picture," John Aikens, the vice president of Libradyn, told the Chicago Tribune.

In Libradyn's case, a development program aimed at defending against a bioterror attack morphed into a program to advance a new antibiotic. The company has a biocatalyst that can interfere with the way microbes communicate with one another. The theory is that if bacteria can't congregate through chemical signaling, their ability to spur infection can be dramatically reduced.

- read the report from the Chicago Tribune