Friend Dan Erlanson (Co-Editor in Chief of the niche and smart Fragment-based Drug Design blog Practical Fragments) sent me this story on the recession proof business model of a biotech company called BioBlocks and his founder medical chemist Peter Pallai:
Approximately one out of 5,000 compounds pass an initial screen, hit the designated biological target, and end up making it to clinical trials. So Pallai’s pitch is simple. He and his team are good at one thing-chemical synthesis of new drug candidates to hit those targets. By outsourcing this piece of the puzzle to his team of chemists, about 25 of whom work in Budapest, Hungary, biotech companies can get the work done fast and well, he says. It makes sense professionally for his chemists as well, because they can get steady work, rather than hitch their wagons to one of hundreds of biotechs that dream of becoming the next Genentech, but are more likely to end up flaming out in a few years.