Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week's quest to find budding Rule Breakers finds a company aiming to spice up pain medicine and a rare survivor of the telecom meltdown.
First up this week is NeurogesX, which VentureWire says is developing a synthetic version of the chemical that makes chili peppers hot. It seems the compound can used for pain relief when delivered via a patch. If that sounds crazy, consider that a week ago today, the firm landed $20 million in equity financing to add to the $35 million it booked in February 2004.
Just what do investors such as MC Life Sciences Ventures, MunMun International, and Saudi Venture Development see? It might have something to do with the $150 million King Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: KG ) recently paid to partner up with Pain Therapeutics (Nasdaq: PTIE ) . Or it could have something to do with circumventing the traditional limits of pain medicines. The patch, says VentureWire, may help pain sufferers bypass systemic side effects and the continual drowsiness that often accompanies injected relief. That approach has certainly worked well thus far. NeurogesX has completed a phase 3 trial in which its patch helped HIV sufferers treat pain associated with the virus. And that means "the patch" could soon mean something entirely different than what we, um, know today.
Next up is World Wide Packets, a telecom firm founded in -- gulp -- 2000. To survive the meltdown that claimed dozens of firms and deeply wounded giants such as Lucent (NYSE: LU ) and Qwest (NYSE: Q ) , the firm has undergone four rounds of financing, including a recent $25.5 million infusion.
But now, reports VentureWire, the market has begun to catch up to its vision of bringing classic Internet standards such as Ethernet straight to the home through cable operators and other carriers. That's a major innovation, making it possible to bring video, broadband Internet, and telephony over the same wire. That, in turn, could make it easier to deploy leading-edge services such as Internet TV and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). No doubt that's sweet music to the ears of investors who've watched eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY ) pay more than $4 billion for Skype.
Sadly, there were no Baby Breaker public offerings this week, which means it's time to say goodbye. See you back here Friday when we continue the quest for the next ultimate growth stock.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers has enjoyed his experience with Skype thus far, though it'd be cool to actually use it on a, uh, phone. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. eBay is aMotley Fool Stock Advisorpick. IMAX is a Rule Breakers pick. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.