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Monday, October 09, 2006

How They End

Just a quick example of how a Cargo Cult ends. Not a lot of attention is given to the end of a multi-million dollar failure but here at the Cargo Cult Scientist we believe that there is always something to learn from trying. If you fail you have to understand why or you are doomed to fail again. The Cargo Cults of biotechnology have not learned this lesson yet. If they did, they wouldn't be looking for experienced executives. In the biotech biz, experience means failure.

Astralia LTD is a company who has ran out of money. Unable to obtain further funding for their efforts, they are forced to cease operations. Their main candidate was against psoriasis, which is on the list posted previously (in the pipeline). Like Medivation, most of their smashing success occured long ago in a country other than the one they are currently working in. They were not approved in the old country prior to coming to the U.S. The inventor has a PhD and M.D. The have a website covered with happy healthy people and a couple of white lab coat wearing individuals. They will be forced to cease operations in a few days.

After the majority of the people leave the HR director will follow the CEO out of the building. They'll go to Applebees for a drink. They won't blame themselves, but rather the investors and others who did not do their job as well as they should have. A liquidation company will come in and set to the task of selling off everything they can. Phones, desks, pipettes, faxes, HPLCs, cabinets, electrophoresis apparati, and every last thing that has value. At the auction everything will be laid out for easy inspection. The bidders will have a form to fill out to make their offers. The financial officers of the company will approve the big sales and the investors will split the take. Not what they were expecting but they did try. Why didn't the planes land? They did everything right. The disease was a lucrative one. The drug worked so well in phase I and II trials. Where are the planes?

Where are the want ads?

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