Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Imagine the leaders of the Cargo Cult Airport leading a group of people around their airport. They bring the people close up to the airplanes but never close enough to actually touch one. They show them the workers but never allow a conversation. If they did they would see that the airplanes are merely wooden replicas and the workers have no clue what they are doing.
This is a biotech website. Those who chose to look will see the white lab coats.
But alas, not all who contribute to the biz are cargo cult scientists. For example, some are there to make the product that goes into the clinical trials. These people have experience and expensive equipment that make biological products. They cannot survive for the long term making wooden replicas. They make real biological products. It is up to the biotech company to use the products to create the dream that one day the airplanes will come.
Now we see someone who has a real concern about the quality of the airplanes/drugs. The airplane/drugs must have certain attributes that are not properly ascertained by looking from a distance.
Long story short, we (my biotech co.) are being discovered. A contract manufacturer is asking questions about how we produced and purified and packaged our drug, an antibody. Not just how, but why did we do what we did. Our answers we not sufficient. The CMO is now doing what it does with less and less help from the little biotech who is paying them to do their job.
The moral of this story is that not all biotech is Cargo Cult. Although it is embarrassing to be on the wrong side of right and wrong, I am pleased to see a contract manufacturing company asking the right questions and getting the wrong answers... and knowing that they are wrong.