From Alchemy to IPO by Cynthia Robbins Roth

Decent Essays

The book “from Alchemy to IPO the business of Biotechnology” is a synopsis of the biotech industry from its inception to late 1900’s . Author Cynthia Robbins – Roth writes a first hand narration from amidst the blooming industry as she was one of the first senior scientist to be recruited by Genentech. The book gives a complete picture from the roots of biotech , the major milestones achieved and the process of getting the product out to the market. It also covers the financers, venture capitalist and the common man’s view of the biotech industry from time to time, during its progression.

My favorite part of the book is the “Roots of the biotechnology”. This part of the book talks about the events that triggered the inception of the industry and the early players who were a part of this revolution. The main trigger was the deficit of the traditional drug discovery approach where big pharmaceuticals targeted many small inorganic molecules to enzymes or cell surface receptors in test tubes and further evaluated initially successful products. This approach did not allow them to consider side effects and overall efficacy of the drug eventually leading to the failure of most drugs. The second trigger was the large amount of funding directed to cancer research by the US federal government and the National Cancer institute. Extensive research proved lymphokines as potent anti cancer agents but this discovery hit a road block as the scientific community did not know how to

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