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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.