A few follow on thoughts to “How To Build a Biotech Cluster That Isn’t Boston or SF”
I wanted to share some thoughts on “How To Build a Biotech Cluster That Isn’t Boston or SF,” many of them stemming from the #AtlasLSR tweets of November 9. I was reading them going, “yes!”
This tweet from Bruce kicked it off; “Having your R&D rooted in a ‘science hub’ increases odds of Phase 2-3 success by 2-fold.“
Next, this via Katrine Bosley; “quality of scientific publications is one” correlate with R&D success.
To tie that back, Recruit Rock Star Scientists; theoretically, the PIs that have been recruited to UofL via Bucks for Brains are publishing in quality journals. I say theoretically because I haven’t tested that quantitatively. And, I have to say, there are PIs who have been at Louisville since before Bucks for Brains that publish in high impact factor journals, too (e.g. Jon Klein @JonBKlein).
Regarding drug development success rates and what does or does not correlate with success, I asked Katrine, “Do the people?“
The answer is, “yes.” So having access to people–with experience–is a good thing. Related, on the academic side, a good read is “Stranger in a strange land?” by Bassil Dahiyat in Nature Biotechnology. In it he notes, “if you are in academia and aspire to start a company, it really helps if you are at an institution where you are surrounded by peers and professors already experienced with the biotech industry.”
Of note, back to the point that being in a science hub correlates with success.
“Why so few hubs overall?” Clearly I think it has a lot to do with people, and hopefully this helps support that theory, but certainly there are other factors. And while I have some experience, I don’t have all the answers.
That’s why I try to listen (even if it’s via Twitter!) and learn from others with experience. And that may be the take home point of all of this. In many ways building a biotech cluster is like building any other startup; you have to do your due diligence and test your assumptions.
* Thanks again to Luke and Xconomy for the opportunity.