South San Francisco, Calif.
Founded: 1997

Why It's Fierce: Theravance is commercializing drugs for everything from respiratory disease to overactive bladder. Last year GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay up to $495 million for commercialization rights to Theravance's respiratory medications. The lead product, a long-acting Beta2 agonist for asthma and smoker's cough, is in Phase I studies. The company boasts a management team drawn from Bristol-Myers, Genentech, Glaxo and Pfizer.


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