In Mid November 2008, in part due to not having been able to get to IPO, Archemix merged with the publicly traded NitroMed, which recently sold off the assets of its only commercial product. In the all-stock deal shareholders for Archemix, which is developing aptamers, will get 70 percent of the company and NitroMed shareholders will gain the remaining 30 percent. NitroMed Chief Executive Kenneth M. Bate will be CEO of the combined operation. Archemix develops molecular engineering technologies that drive drug discovery. Construction of therapeutics and biosensors relies on recent advances in combinatorial molecular biology. In the same way combinatorial chemistry produces millions of compounds that feed the drug discovery pipeline, combinatorial molecular biology yields millions of macromolecules with useful biological activities. Through in vitro evolution, enormous libraries can be sorted to identify individual sequences best suited to particular applications. Archemix is developing pharmaceutical applications of aptamers (nucleic acid antibodies), and ribozymes (nucleic acid enzymes). Like antibodies, aptamers bind disease targets and inhibit their activity to elicit therapeutic effects. Both aptamers and ribozymes are used to measure the state of disease targets and the ability of potential drugs to hit disease targets.