Fierce 15 Winner

Based: West Palm Beach, FL
Founded: 2007
Website: www.xcovery.com

The Scoop: "Even though it's only a fledgling in the biotech field, Xcovery can already rely on world-class management and scientific expertise as it explores a more efficient approach to developing kinase therapeutics."

What makes it Fierce: Few start-ups come out the gate with the kind of management and scientific pedigrees as Xcovery. CEO Sheridan Snyder was co-founder and CEO at Genzyme and Dr. Chris Liang on the science side, the director of medicinal chemistry at Scripps Research Institute, is credited as the co-inventor of the oncology drug Sutent. The fledgling biotech - a spinoff of Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida -- now has three development programs in the pipeline.

Xcovery is clearly leaning heavily on Dr. Liang's expertise in the field of kinase therapeutics to develop a new generation of oncology and inflammatory disease therapies. It's betting that its approach to drug discovery will be more economical and rapid that most of the timelines currently in use.

To get started, Xcovery has three development programs in place for oncology and inflammation. An early group of kinase inhibitors--like Gleevec and Sutent--quickly gained a multibillion-dollar market, but Xcovery is betting that the next generation of kinase therapeutics will be more effective, have broad applications and fewer side affects.

There's a lot at stake here. Scripps is well known for taking the science it's developed in its own labs and translating that into commercial successes. Florida has bet over a billion dollars that Scripps and the other institutions lured to the Sunshine State can do just that. It's early days, of course, but they've got started with a mother-load of great expectations.

What to look for: Lead candidates. This is an early stage of development for Xcovery.


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