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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

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January 3, 2012

2012 In Startups

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Posted by Derek

Looking over the startup funding landscape, Bruce Booth finds some reasons for optimism. I hope he's right. There's a notch cut out of the small pharma/biotech ecosystem, a gap representing all the companies that didn't get formed in the last few years. Filling that has to be a good thing.

Comments (12) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


COMMENTS

1. PharmaHeretic on January 3, 2012 3:19 PM writes...

Why do we require more startups? Didn't we have enough scams and BS in the last decade?

Permalink to Comment

2. Currywor'ks on January 3, 2012 10:00 PM writes...

Any thoughts on LOS "Lead-Oriented Synthesis: A New Opportunity for Synthetic Chemistry" New Angew Review. Is this method worth its salt?

Permalink to Comment

3. MTK on January 4, 2012 9:46 AM writes...

PharmaHeretic,

While I understand your cynicism, I hope you're not serious in the sentiment expressed in your comment.

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4. PharmaHeretic on January 4, 2012 2:52 PM writes...

MTK,

I am very serious about the necessity for startups to disappear- period.

These companies provide the false hope of a decent career for many scientists when in reality they are slave shops that discard their scientists after a few months or 2-3 years regardless of whether they succeed or fail.

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5. startup on January 4, 2012 4:04 PM writes...

PharmaHeretic, what you are saying is simply not true! I lasted full four years!

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6. anonymous on January 5, 2012 1:29 AM writes...

At least three of the companies mentioned in the article developed small-molecule candidates. Amira had an in-house chemistry group. PLX relied (I think) on outsourced chemistry. Intellikine had a facility in China. So you can still be successful with a US based chemistry group, but you can also be successful with outsourced/offshore chemistry. I think the VCs will look at this and consider the outsourced model to be a success.

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7. CR on January 5, 2012 8:29 AM writes...

@PH, #4:

"These companies provide the false hope of a decent career for many scientists when in reality they are slave shops that discard their scientists after a few months or 2-3 years regardless of whether they succeed or fail."

You have got to be kidding. "Provide false hope of a decent career"... What the heck are you smoking? These companies do not provide "false hope"; everyone going to work for a start-up knows exactly what they are getting into. Your BS aside. No scientist has "false hope" whether it be in a start-up or more established companies or academia. Your statement of "false hope" would be the equivalent to a person getting hired in a tenure track job and then being surprised by not getting tenure. 'Well, gee, I had false hope this was a job for life...'

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8. wierdo on January 5, 2012 11:43 AM writes...

#7

I agree with the false hope statement. But startups are a crappy career choice for chemists. If the startup runs out of money, the first ones to go are the disposable chemists. If the startup actually succeeds and nominates a candidate, the company usually puts its money and resources into pushing the compound forward, once again the disposable chemists are gone. It use to be attractive during the bubble days, but they are long gone.

Permalink to Comment

9. CR on January 5, 2012 11:48 AM writes...

#8...

I agree it's not desirable, nor a great choice. You could also make that argument against more established pharma companies as well. Although they won't shift money to pushing development candidates forward, they will cut chemists first.

But that wasn't the point PH was making.

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10. Leticia on February 10, 2012 3:03 PM writes...

So hulefpl and so useful post Press Clippings . Thanks for such informative post. Good job.

Permalink to Comment

11. Leticia on February 10, 2012 3:03 PM writes...

So hulefpl and so useful post Press Clippings . Thanks for such informative post. Good job.

Permalink to Comment

12. Leticia on February 10, 2012 3:03 PM writes...

So hulefpl and so useful post Press Clippings . Thanks for such informative post. Good job.

Permalink to Comment

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