Based: Boston
Founded: 2000

Why It's Fierce: CombinatoRx is one of a new breed of biotech companies that hopes to short circuit the expensive and time-consuming model of drug discovery by creating combination medicines that treat disease on multiple fronts. It's a big target: 2 million possible combinations of 2,000 existing drugs. In just four years CombinatoRx has identified agents for clinical and preclinical studies, with new drugs in the pipeline for cancer and rheumatoid arthritis and new research underway for infection diseases and more. CEO and founder Alexis Borisy has already drawn kudos for recruiting top-notch scientists from Harvard and MIT. The experienced drug discovery team includes Peter Elliott, former vice president for pharmacology and drug development at Millennium, where he worked on Velcade, which was approved recently for treating multiple myeloma.

What to look for: New clinical advances, particularly in oncology.


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