Tag Archives: biotech

Biotech Philanthropist Supports the Arts

A splat on the wall.  A tree stump with a doorknob.  Flowers in a swamp that partially hid a school of flying piranhas.  Rupert’s brain could not interpret the solid red canvas at all.  He turned to his hostess and asked, “Is this your company’s, um, famous art collection?  I’ve read so much about it.”

Sonia giggled and gazed down at Rupert from atop her 8 inch stiletto heels.  “Oh, no, Mr. Madasheck, this is the annual employee’s children’s art exhibit.”

Rupert looked at a sculpture nestled on a pedestal and said, “That explains why this one looks like, um, well, like it was inspired by the family pet.  Or its business.”

Sonia gasped in horror.  “Oh, not that one!  That is an original Brancusi from his early stage over a century ago.”

Rupert held his hands behind his back and glared at the pile on the pedestal.  “Well,” he said.  “Speaking of business, let’s get on with it.  I’ve probably just destroyed any chance at a licensing agreement with you, haven’t I?  Assuming I had a chance five minutes ago.”

  • As bridges and buildings crumble, is Biotech funding the arts?

  • There must be art lovers in the Biotech world.  Rupert might not be one of them.  Or is he?

  • Is it true that Cappuccino Pharmaceuticals is planning to donate $475 million to artists who will paint pictures of dogs playing cards while sipping cappuccinos?

It’s Not Inevitable!

“Nothing is certain except death and taxes,” Rupert said.  “I heard it from a great authority.” [1]

“I’m sure you would know, since you were there when Ben Franklin wrote it,” Betty Lidalot said.

George Contenumbaes said, “Well, speaking in my official CFO capacity, those two exceptions are not exactly valid.”

Betty and Rupert stared at George.  “Were you hoping to live forever?” Betty asked.

“Technically, corporations can live forever.  Some states insist that Limited Liability companies are partnerships and must have a finite lifetime.  But Cappuccino Pharmaceuticals can live forever.  Wrong again, Mr. Franklin.”

Rupert eyed George warily.  “Are you suggesting we can also avoid taxes?”

George raised his eyebrows in a blank look of utter innocence.  “Oh, no, not me.  But Apple and Google seem to suggest just that.”

Betty grunted.  “Yes, I’ve been reading about their scam to offshore everything to Ireland and avoid billions in taxes.  They wouldn’t be the first company.”

“Oh, there’s also Yahoo using both Ireland and the Cayman Islands,” George said.  “Let’s not forget Amazon avoiding British taxes by putting its headquarters in Luxembourg.  Same with Skype.”

“What a surprise,” Rupert said.  “Corporations doing everything legally possible to save money.  That party might be over, since I read that Ireland is discussing tax avoidance with the European Union.  And France might impose some cheese-eater’s culture tax.”

“Enough of international corporations wheeling and dealing,” Betty said.  “None of those are biotech related companies.  Tell me something inevitable in our business.”

“Tossing out heads of R&D,” said Rupert.  “You heard about AbbVie, Merck, and Bristol-Myers Squibb in the latest round, I’m sure.”  Betty and George nodded.  “Others might follow anytime soon.  J&J’s CEO sent out a memo to its employees to reassess their corporate credo – not a good sign.”

“That doesn’t mean they will toss their R&D Vice President,” said Betty.

“Why not?” Rupert asked.  “That’s what we do whenever there’s a problem.”

Betty rolled her eyes.  “Rupert, there’s a wave of production disasters around the world.  For one, there is the Canadian recall of drugs that used ingredients from a Chinese contract manufacturer.  Boehringer Ingelheim is imploding and shaking up its management because of production disasters.  But all of those are failures of execution, not of research.”

“You want failures of research?” Rupert asked.  “Let’s talk about Alzheimer’s Disease drug failures.  Baxter, Lilly, and the J&J-Elan collaboration.  Three failures that waited until the most expensive time to fail.  Why can’t failures happen before clinical trials?”

George sighed.  “There’s only one thing left that’s certain in this business.”  He paused for dramatic effect until Betty started tapping her foot on the tile floor.  He inhaled and said, “Medicinal pot.”

Betty and Rupert groaned and glared at George.

“Hear me out on this one,” George said.  “How many people like taking their meds?  Think about the way Avastin is used to treat macular degeneration.  I hear they inject the stuff right into the eyeball.”

Betty blanched.  Rupert covered his eyes and muttered, “Ick, that’s disgusting.”

“Yes, there are well over a million eyeball injections per year,” George said.  “But what about cannabis users?  There was a study to study the link between pot smoking and what people thought the benefit of pot smoking would be.”

Betty looked dazed.  “Are you saying they asked pot smokers if they liked smoking pot?”

“They asked if users had positive or negative expectancies of using pot.  Funny thing, those who expected positive things from using pot, um, tended to keep using pot.”

“So people who like using pot will use pot,” Betty said.  “Right?”

“Wouldn’t that fall under the ‘Well, Duh!’ category?” asked Rupert.

“Yes indeed,” said George.  “It was a study done at the VA in Palo Alto.  Using your tax money.” [2]

“My tax money!” Rupert and Betty cried in unison.  “Augh!”


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.

Source of Inspiration:    http://tinyurl.com/cn3zbqq

 

Soap Opera Drama in the Biotech Industry

Every society has its drama, and the Biotech Industry is no exception. There was the online soap opera “All My Clones” that documented the craziness for over 4 years at BioWorld. Is there no end to it all?

No, of course not.

We have engaged the BixoBrat, one of the “All My Clones” authors, to take time away from laughing aloud in public libraries while reading the Business section and update us on things we’d rather not think about while undergoing surgery. While inspired by the news, the stories are in fact fiction – er, are lies with a kernel of truth. But not necessarily wisdom.

So keep an eye out for the BixoBrat and find out what the executives don’t want you to know.