Based: South San Francisco, CA
Why It's Fierce: FivePrime's business plan centers on swift and aggressive drug discovery work. The company has a new method for identifying therapeutics. It uses a sophisticated, high-throughput approach to assaying and isolating primarily therapeutic proteins. FivePrime is leveraging what it calls the Pharmanome, the entire set of pharmaceutically relevant genes and proteins. Just last summer the company hired Gail Maderis to take over as CEO. The former Genzyme oncology chief wasted no time advancing the company's work screening secreted proteins for programs that range from Type 2 diabetes and cancer to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
What to look for: This company is actively looking for partnerships in protein therapeutics and antibodies. And, no surprise, it intends to move swiftly.