Best Biotech Quotes of 2010: A 'Word on the Street' Special
By Trista Morrison
As BioWorld Insight readers know, our "Word on the Street" column provides a sample of the most entertaining and thought-provoking quotes our staff stumbles upon each week. Some are gathered during interviews, some gleaned from analyst reports, and some overheard at conferences. As we kick off 2011, here's a look back at a few of our 2010 favorites:
On Financing and Deal-Making
"For those of you who survived 2009, congratulations."
– Jeremy Webster, of Deloitte Recap LLC, during a presentation at the BioPartnering North America conference
"Selling a company is a lot like wetting your pants – it feels really good for the first few seconds until you realize what you've done."
– Anonymous biotech portfolio manager
"There's always a buyer for anything – it just depends on the price."
– James Molloy, analyst with Caris and Co., talking about biotechs seeking to offload failed products
"Other than the fact that you can occasionally raise a lot of money, there is no advantage to being public."
– Michael Ross, managing partner at SV Life Sciences, on the lure of the IPO window
"These are the days when it's good to be a biotech CEO."
– John Crowley, chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics Inc., after closing a potential $230 million deal with GlaxoSmithKline plc
"Targets have no value if you can't drug them."
– Stanley Crooke, chairman and CEO of Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., on its drug targets deal with GlaxoSmithKline plc
"The only ethical issue we did not bother to attack was cloning . . . I always thought it was a waste of time. I used to say that I've never met anybody worth cloning."
– Robert Edwards, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, in a 2001 interview following his Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award
"Small companies die more often from indigestion than starvation."
– Martin Tolar, CEO of NormOxys Inc., on the need to focus R&D efforts
"These drugs were not developed through understanding of the mechanism . . . There was not a misunderstanding. There was no understanding."
– Bruce Spiegelman, professor of cell biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discussing Avandia (rosiglitazone, GlaxoSmithKline plc)
"It took 20 years for doctors to accept the use of the stethoscope."
– Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, on the difficulties of getting the medical establishment to accept the future of personalized, wireless medicine
"There's no straight line in this business, just a lot of ups and downs."
– Hollings Renton, former president and CEO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.
"Is the pharma model more broken than the auto industry model, than the insurance model, than the banking model?"
– John Mendlein, chairman of Fate Therapeutics Inc.
"Quickly at the FDA is not quickly."
– Joshua Sharfstein, principal deputy commissioner at the FDA
"The thing about CEOs is that they're the most disposable of all members of staff."
– Kevin Johnson of Index Ventures during the BioPharm America 2010 conference
"Just because there are failures doesn't mean you should stop."
– Sharon Mates, president and CEO of Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc., on why the company continues to target amyloid-beta for Alzheimer's disease despite a slew of setbacks
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