How do you find an investor for a biotech company that reverses damages of aging at a cellular level (requires 100 million)?

The first thing you need is a story. The story has many chapters – about technology, about your team, about clinical utility, about intellectual property, about risks – but it has to have a certain ending. That ending is one in which investors make a 10X return on their investment. At least. Few early-stage investors Read More …

Is it true that drug price regulation would be as bad as Mao’s Great Leap Forward?

“True” is far too strong a word. But the estimate is neither ridiculous nor a troll, despite the use of such an inflammatory comparator. The argument is simple – a cited RAND study estimates the disincentivization to pharma R&D of drug price regulation would end up costing the average North American or European of ages 55–65 about 0.7 year Read More …

How is Trump reducing the cost of drugs?

He’s reducing the cost of drugs the same way he is responding to the opioid epidemic: by saying whatever sounds good at the moment and then ignoring the problem. As with all policy issues that require more than a tweet, Trump will simply follow the lead of the Republicans in Congress. So the real question is what Read More …

What are some good books on the founding of biotechs and pharmas?

The most well-known, and one that I can recommend, is “The Billion-Dollar Molecule” by Barry Werth. It describes the founding and early days of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and their efforts to use rational drug design technologies to create a new immunosuppressant drug for transplant patients. Werth does a great job not only of explaining the science, but capturing the Read More …

Which countries put the highest value on human life and health?

Relatively few countries set an explicit Quality-Adusted Life-Year (QALY) value  the way that the UK does – and even there, it is a guideline (about $40K), not a hard and fast number. The World Health Organization does, however, suggest that the cost-effective level of a QALY should be 1–3X the per-capita GDP of a given Read More …

What is the future of the biotechnology industry?

Historically, biotech has functioned under the same discovery paradigm as pharma — the one drug: one protein: one disease paradigm. Diseases are thought to be caused by the misfunctioning of a protein. The disease is addressed by finding a ligand which binds to that protein, causing it to behave in a manner more compatible with Read More …