Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Yes, Those Marble Columns Can Be Distracting

From interviews with 26 former and current leaders of R&D sections of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, Frank Douglas and his colleagues found six common themes relating to entrepreneurship in pharma that they report in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. One that arose was that R&D heads have to stay in touch with their CEO as it helps in "building and maintaining an optimal culture in discovery." Another was that "smaller is better." The authors write that "there seems to be an inverse correlation between the size of an organization and its potential to develop trust among its constituents."

At In the Pipeline, one recommendation caught Derek Lowe's eye. The researchers write that

Companies should examine what we term the 'columns outside the doors' phenomenon and the subtle impact that this form of recognition might have on entrepreneurial behaviour. ... As start-up companies become successful, they are relocated from humble laboratories to grander buildings with columns outside their doors. Interestingly, such edifices often violate the observed inverse square relationship between communication among scientists in laboratories and the distance between these laboratories.

Lowe notes: "Those of you in temporary quarters, jammed into buildings that don't quite work, may not be as bad off as you might think."

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.