From Alchemy to IPO: The Business of Biotechnology by Cynthia Robbins Roth

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The book From Alchemy to IPO: the business of Biotechnology (2001) was a wonderful read. Although a little outdated (before the 2008 financial crisis), Cynthia Robbins-Roth was able to capture the thrill of starting the first biotech companies, the struggle to keep the companies afloat during down markets, as well as the elation of success when a company succeeds where others failed. I was astounded that any new company could survive the decade long march to putting their first product on the market, but Robbins-Roth provided direct quotations from the major investors that stuck with the market when most other investors had pulled out. These quotes, by the end of the book, gave me a much better understanding not only of the biotech industry but also the mentality of the major investors in the field. Although the sector is teeming with risky investments, if you educate yourself about the companies and understand the science involved, and be ready for the long-haul it is possible to lower your risk to reasonable levels. While reading the chapter on stock fluctuations, and the risks and profits to be made, I noticed that when the public is interested in the biotech sector, there seems to be an opportunity to make money off of ignorant investors. Robbins-Roth mentions one instance where a company had a positive article published in a prominent magazine which shot the stock up and back down in a couple days as people realized that it was bubble investment. If you could

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