ThruSkin Technologies

University of Georgia, 2003 - $18,750

Thirty-two million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis and spend $2.5 billion annually on various products to deal with it. Until recently, however, individuals with osteoarthritis had no effective treatments for their affliction; their only recourse was pain-killers, usually NSAIDs, which can have serious side effects. Numerous studies over the past decade have shown that glucosamine, a natural sugar, can stop further deterioration of the arthritic joint and even help rebuild the cartilage. Glucosamine has been marketed successfully in pill form, but only 1% of the glucosamine in the pill reaches the affected joint. Topical glucosamine creams are on the market, but none of them are able to get more than 3-5% across the skin barrier. Using novel technology, the Thruskin Technologies E-Team developed a glucosamine-based anti-osteoarthritis topical cream, Rejuvalin, that delivers 70% of the glucosamine across the skin barrier to the damaged joint.

The E-Team consisted of a pharmaceutical PhD student and three MBA students. The team's advisors were a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, an associate professor of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences and a pharmaceutical industry consultant.