San Diego, Calif.
Why Its Fierce: Elitra's mix of high profile corporate partnerships and marquis managers distinguish the company from other microbial researchers. The company has identified hundreds of drug targets for 11 different bacteria and fungi. This unique platform technology attracted several big drug makers. The company's flagship partnership with Merck is commercializing a portfolio of medications combating infectious diseases. A corps of senior executives from Abbott, Eli Lilly, Millennium and Aurora Biosciences complete the picture.
What to look for in 2003: The company's partnership with Merck should begin to bear fruit in 2003.