Founded a year ago by a foursome of faculty members at the Medical School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc. represents that institution's first direct corporate spin-off in the biotechnology field.

Although at present focused narrowly on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic non-asthmatic lung diseases, Inspire executives believe that the company's potential core market is large enough and the technology powerful enough to allow for opportunities in several related areas of pharmaceutical R&D.