Why It's Fierce: Elixir Pharmaceuticals is developing drugs to regulate recently discovered longevity genes. While the company is at least a decade from introducing its first product, research in worms suggests altering a single gene can delay the onset of age-related diseases such as obesity and type-II diabetes. Last month Elixir merged with cross-town rival Centagenetix, combining the top scientists in this clubby niche. A fresh $17 million cash infusion should nourish additional preclinical work. This is probably the most speculative pick in this year's list. We hope our optimism is justified.
What to look for in 2003: Combining scientists from Centagenetix and Elixir will accelerate research of longevity genes.