Biotech buzz. After years of research and huge investments, Utah companies close in on breakthroughs

For the long-suffering Hunter Jackson, it has been a very good year.

Through nearly two decades since founding NPS Pharmaceuticals, the former University of Utah School of Medicine anatomy instructor has sought venture capitalists, recruited research fellows and waited for the company’s books to transform from red ink to black.

"This is a tremendously exciting time," Hunter says. "We’re finally at that certain coming of age. All of us who have been involved with this company could soon be able to feel as though we have done all we set out to do back in 1986."

And, NPS finally is on the threshold of profitability – welcome news for patient investors. In the past five years alone, NPS reported net losses totaling nearly $508 million, with 2000-2004 revenues a shade under $44.3 million. During that time, more than $430 million was poured into research and development on a dozen compounds.

By Bob Mims
The Salt Lake Tribune

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