Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

A Plea for Billionaires

Over at Forbes' Medicine Show blog, Matthew Herper is searching for people in biotech who have become billionaires, and he has only found a few. Patrick Soon-Shiong is worth $5.2 billion; Randal Kirk is worth $2.2 billion; and Michael Jaharis has $1.9 billion, all according to Forbes' lists of billionaires and the richest Americans. While those sound like fortunes, Herper points out that they pale in comparison to entrepreneurs in computer science and information technology sectors like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. "Health care in general is a pretty bad choice of a sector if you want to make a mega-fortune," he says. Part of the problem, he adds, is the time and money it takes to develop new drugs. "As we think about how to invent medicines — and we should think about it, because otherwise we may stop inventing new drugs entirely — we should consider how to make innovators incredibly, dramatically, stunningly wealthy," Herper says.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.