Trevena

Trevena

King of Prussia, Pa.
Founders: Dr. Robert Lefkowitz and Dr. Howard Rockman
VC Investment over the last four quarters: $26.1 million

Trevena, founded in January 2008, is a drug discovery company developing pharmaceuticals that target what are known as G-protein coupled receptors. Such drugs make up more than 40% of marketed drugs today, according to Trevena. The company's drug discovery platform is based on research from Duke University Medical Center, including that of founder and National Medal of Science winner Robert Lefkowitz.

Key to startup success: "We've been able to generate the strong investor support for this idea [because] the technology and the opportunity here is very, very unique, and the possibility of unlocking new areas of biology is so significantly different from what's currently out there."