Optimer Pharmaceuticals Chief Executive Officer Michael Chang is optimistic that larger venture capital firms won't be overlooking the company for long.
Started in 2000 by Chang and fellow researchers Chi-Huey Wong and Samuel Danishefky, Optimer specializes in carbohydrate chemistry and drugs that combat cancer, arthritis and immune disorders.
The company is especially excited about a new drug being developed to fight clostridium difficile bacteria, which causes a potentially deadly form of diarrhea that some health experts say is on the rise in hospitals and nursing homes. The drug had some success in Phase 2 clinical trials and the Food and Drug Administration approved expanded tests through 2008.
"The FDA thinks this is a very important topic, so we developed this product on a fast track," Chang said. "The product is a unique chemical structure, a new mechanism, we think that's really vital. It's a very interesting product."