BioBonds for Research

Rupert hates talking to scientists. Pharmaceuticals are all about business, not science. Aren’t they? Yet here he was in his corner office cornered by two lab coats with nerds inside each. He sighed and waved them both to the one chair in the room. “Get on with it,” he said impatiently. “What did you need to discuss that our Chief Scientific Officer couldn’t handle?”

“It’s about financing our research,” said Nerd #1.

“Oh,” said Rupert. “Then you should talk to our CFO.”

“We did,” said Nerd #2. “He was so excited, he sent us here right away. It’s about how football stadiums get built.”

“Stadia,” said Nerd #1. “One stadium, two stadia.”

Nerd #2 wrote a note to himself, then said, “We want to offer research bonds as investments. There’s already a research-focused pension fund in Australia.”

Rupert grunted. “Research. Isn’t that what NIH is supposed to fund? We can’t afford to waste our money on so many dead ends. As a matter of fact, I was thinking of cutting back R&D like AstraZeneca did. I told you guys, stop doing experiments that fail! Just do the ones that work.”

Nerd #1 said, “We don’t know which will work until we try them. Think how many retirement funds and 401(k)s would buy bonds to support Alzheimer’s research…while they still can.”

Rupert swiveled his chair and stared out the window. “Hmmmm,” he said.

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