Based: Seattle, WA
Founded: 2005

Why It's Fierce: This biotech company is so new it hasn't even found its first CEO yet. But it has already garnered more attention than many other companies with years of expensive research under its belt. Dr. Mark Roth at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center got it started with groundbreaking research into hibernation. He rocked the scientific community with news that he had created a reversible state of metabolic hibernation in animals with a mix of room air and hydrogen sulfide -- a natural agent that helps the body regulate temperature. Researchers are exploring how it could be used to prevent brain damage. The implications in medical research are profound. And the investment community was quick to prick up its ears, pooling $10 million in an ambitious first round and preparing the way to open up a new laboratory and dig in for the years of hard work ahead.

What to look for: Everything. Ikaria needs to assemble a management team, create a lab and start proving that this can work in humans. Clinical trials are years away, but this biotech will be closely watched.


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