One lesson that could be drawn from years of experience with very early stage research is that such work should be incubated in a non-corporate setting for as long as possible. Nevertheless, the lure of owning a piece of a biotech company remains strong, as evidenced by the announcement last week of a new virtual company, Helicon Therapeutics Inc.

Helicon is focused on development of drugs to treat long-term memory disorders and other central nervous system dysfunctions. But while studies of genetic contributions to complex nervous system diseases are beginning to bear fruit, researchers are a long way from understanding and effectively treating these maladies.