Name: Vanda Pharmaceuticals
Locations Rockville and Singapore
Funding: The company has raised $47 million from BioOne Capital, Care Capital Inc., MedImmune Ventures Inc., Prospect Venture Partners, Rho Ventures and Domain Associates LLC.
Big idea: Vanda is developing two drugs, for psychiatric and sleep disorders. The first is an antipsychotic that would be used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The drug binds to serotonin and dopamine receptors that release hormones thought to cause schizophrenia, said William D. "Chip" Clark, chief business officer. The second drug stimulates melatonin and works with the body's natural sleep cycle to rectify sleep and mood disorders. The antipsychotic drug, Iloperidone, is in advanced "phase three" trials, Clark said, and the melatonin drug, VEC-162, is ready for such trials. Clark said both drugs should be ready for market in the next few years. The company is also evaluating and acquiring new compounds.
Where the idea was hatched: Vanda was formed by two venture capital companies, Care Capital of Princeton, N.J., and BioOne Capital of Singapore. It then acquired its two drugs from other pharmaceutical companies and has continued their development.
Customers: None, until the drugs are launched.
Price: Too early to tell, Clark said.
Who's in charge: Mihael H. Polymeropoulos, chief executive; Steven Shallcross, chief financial officer; Clark.
Web site: www.vandapharmaceuticals.com
What the name means: "It's the genus name for the orchid, which is the national flower of Singapore," Clark said.
Where will you be in five years?: "Our aim is to be a vibrant, hopefully profitable, new company in the greater D.C. area," Clark said.
-- Andrea Caumont