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James Prudent

Madison biotech startup Centrose is based on a sweet idea. Co-founded by Prudent in 2007, the company creates novel drugs by adding sugar molecules to currently marketed pharmaceuticals in ways that enhance their original properties. It’s just the latest in a string of intriguing ideas from Prudent, a veteran of the Madison biotech scene. A former chief scientific officer at EraGen Biosciences, Prudent made a name for himself at Third Wave Technologies, where he invented a sensitive DNA and RNA detection technology and then helped turn it into a multimillion dollar product line. And don’t expect Prudent to stop tinkering. “The obsession of using billions of years of evolution to create better ways of living just has not gone away,” he says.