Hundreds of public companies and countless private ones now inhabit the biopharma space — most of them building upon unique science to bring new medicines and therapies into existence. “Companies to Watch” (CtW) could never cover even a small fraction of them in a year or perhaps a lifetime. That’s the beauty of the form. Watching a small selection (not a fully representative sample) of companies can bring some needed clarity to the ever-changing maze of models, organizations, and management styles the totality of biopharma enterprises represent. CtW takes a photographic-like approach — a snapshot of essential information along with an explanation of what’s at stake, all in a single page.
In 2017, CtW looked at 10 companies, each one a candle on the company’s inspiration, environment, challenges, and efforts to wrestle all of those things into a viable venture. As usual, we focused on small public and private companies with their own products in development and scant press coverage to date. Although investment sources, means, and amounts are critical, the column does not speculate about or even discuss stock price, except in the collective sense of market cap. We don’t recommend buy, sell, or hold. And we don’t try to foretell a company’s chances of success. CtW consists of interesting, even captivating stories that offer the instructive experiences and earned knowledge that people gain in founding, running, and building a business.