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Start-Up Previews (02/2008)

Executive Summary

A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Scaffolds in Tissue Engineering," features profiles of BioCeramic Therapeutics, Histogen, Humacyte and Tissue Regenix. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Braintact, CleveX, Coherex Medical and Lytix Biopharma.

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Coherex Medical Inc.

These are tough times for companies developing PFO closure devices. Various energy-based approaches have hit the rocks, and clinical trial enrollment difficulties have derailed others. Coherex Medical hopes for better results with technology that it describes as safe, user-friendly, and more effective than competing technologies. The company's FlatStent PFO closure system combines a self-expanding stent with tissue growth materials, and a design that provides multiple means to close the PFO and thus boost the chances for long-term success.

CleveX Inc.

Patients undergoing a biopsy of a skin lesion will soon have the option to be treated in-office with a novel device that is quicker and more cosmetically acceptable than traditional methods. So says CleveX, which is developing the ExiClip, an inexpensive, compact, single-use product for biopsy, skin lesion removal and wound closure. The ExiClip procedure can be performed in less than five minutes. Tissue is pulled through the lesion aperture, then finger holds on the device are squeezed together that cause a proprietary skin clip to secure the skin tissue. Immediately afterwards, a blade moves across the aperture and excises the tissue. Hence, biopsy and closure occurs almost simultaneously.

Lytix Biopharma AS

Lytix Biopharma is focused on lytic peptides derived from lactoferrin. The company's core technology is based on the identification of the pharmacophore of bioactive peptides and the subsequent creation of small mimetic molecules as drug leads using medicinal chemistry approaches. Its small molecules show antimicrobial and anticancer activity in early studies, as well as good specificity.

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