Tag Archives: research

Think Your Way Out of a Paper Bag

 “This is the most dismal sales report I have seen in this company,” Rupert declared to the Board of Directors.  “How about if I fire the sales force, the whole lot of ‘em?  Let’s move into digital marketing exclusively.”

“I understand Eli Lilly is doing something like that,” said CFO George Contenumbaes. [1]  “I can let you know the annual cost savings.”

Rupert read the next item on the Board meeting’s docket, a report that lab scientist Dr. Erin Q. Stewpydde was found reporting good results on mice that didn’t even exist. [2]

“Our entire FrankNFrzerol program is shut down since its premise was based on data from non-existent mice,” Mantissa Polatis said.

“What?  How could you let that happen?” Rupert roared, frothing at the mouth and suddenly towering over the cringing woman.  “You’re the Vice President of Research!  Can’t you control your department?”

“But I’ve only been here for three days,” Mantissa said as she shivered in her chair.

“Oh.  Still, plenty of time to find the problems and shift the blame,” Rupert said as he glanced around and sat down.  “Yes, and where did you find these non-existent mice?”

“That’s the problem, they never existed,” Mantissa said.  “No such mice were ever protected from saturated fatty acid-induced atherosclerosis.  So the decision for Cappuccino Pharmaceuticals to proceed might never have happened.”

Rupert put his head on the table and moaned.  “So we wasted millions of dollars chasing rainbows again?  Can’t we ever do real experiments that work?”  He sat up and announced, “I’m revising my plan.  Maybe we should drop out of therapeutics and move into medical devices.  I read about this stomach sucker patent [3] and I figure the next step is a brain sucker.”

“Is that a lollipop for zombies?” Ima Punk asked.

“Very funny,” Rupert said with no hint of a smile.  “This is serious.”  He waggled his fingers over his tablet, then showed the glowing surface to the Board members.  “It says here the original patent might be a treatment for morbid obesity without invasive surgery.  Patients can eat and drink as much as they like. Twenty minutes later, they drain their stomach by connecting a pump to a valve surgically installed on their abdominal wall.”

“That might destroy the game of beer pong,” the CFO said.  “But besides losing our appetites, what are you proposing here?”

“Well, so the logical next step is to attach a brain pump.  Then 20 minutes after watching TV, you can get all the crap sucked back out.  Or, if you’re watching Factsless News, leave the pump running.”

Mantissa sighed.  “What kind of budget will I get for this?”

Size Matters, Says PNAS

Rupert heard hoots of laughter from the boardroom as he approached from his office.  As he entered, Betty said, “Of course it matters, we all know that.”  The others gathered around the table laughed.

Rupert said, “Ms. Lidalot, as Chair of this corporation, you should display a much more sober attitude before the Board.”

“Well, that’s about the size of it,” said CFO George Contenumbaes.  The others, including Betty, snickered and stifled giggles.

“Something is going on here,” Rupert said.  “Why is it the CEO is always the last to know?  So let’s hear it.”

Felicity Short, the Director from LotzMooreLute Capital, pushed a journal down the table and said, “It looks like that stuffy old National Academy of Sciences has people with a sense of humor after all.  Check out the bookmarked page.”

Rupert found the page, scanned the large-print title, and gasped.  It read, ‘Penis size interacts with body shape and height to influence male attractiveness.’ [1]

Betty said, “The National Academy is a very serious organization, charged with providing scientific leadership for the country.  The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a serious and prestigious journal. But their website does exhort you to add ‘PNAS Direct to Your Inbox.’  Doesn’t that sound a bit rude?”

“Well, there must be a potent evolutionary motivation at work,” said Ima Punk.

“What does any of this have to do with biotechnology?” Rupert asked.  “Must we behave like middle schoolers?”

“We must understand the wants and needs of our customers,” said Betty.




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