Courtesy of Cytokinetics
 Ovarian cancer cell line OVCAR3 fixed and stained with fluorescent markers against nuclei, Golgi apparatus, microtubules, and actin. The panels represent the same image color combined in different combinations to highlight different organizational patterns.

Founded in 1998, Cytokinetics of South San Francisco, Calif., specializes in discovering, developing, and commercializing small-molecule therapeutic agents that target cytoskeletal proteins. Although the subspecialty arena of cytoskeletal pharmaceuticals might seem fairly narrow at first glance, the potential benefits of this approach are far-reaching. Cytoskeletal components play fundamental roles in a range of cellular processes, including celldivision, motility, intracellular transport, and muscle contraction, and they have been implicated in a wide range of pathological conditions, including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders.

From the outset, Cytokinetics' overall strategy has been to codevelop pharmaceutical research tools and information technologies that work together cohesively to facilitate drug discovery and development. In the few years...

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