In the last few years, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry has experienced enormous growth and over $9 billion in funding. In fact, the latest projections predict the biotech industry could end up being worth over $727 billion by 2025. With so many investment opportunities and fundraising activities surrounding biotech, it makes sense that investors want to learn all they can about the industry and its future potential. With that in mind, here are our four must-read books about the past, present, and future of biotech.
By Barry Worth
The Antidote is the story of one pharmaceutical company's mission to win. Zertex was founded by Merck executive Joshua Boger in the late 80s amidst the start of the AIDS epidemic. With the goal of creating a different type of company capable of disrupting the whole industry, Boger also aimed to force pharmaceutical companies to think differently. A riveting read, the book speaks to the challenges of starting a new type of company in a well-established industry and leading it all the way through to triumph.
By Sally Smith Hughes
Genentech was one of the first biotech companies to not only gain popularity but also raise a significant amount of money through public stock options. In the early 80s, without a consumer product, or much understanding of what the company did, the price of shares started high and continued to rise from the first day of offering. This book includes interviews key players in the early days of the industry, offering insight as to what it takes to create substantive and measurable innovation. The book also paints a full picture of the company - not just the science or business behind it - and the impact it had on society as well as the challenges that were overcome to make it to the top.
By Gordon Binder and Phillip Bashe
Science Lessons is a very readable book by a former biotech CEO, Gordon Binder that’s geared towards readers who may not have a science background but do have curiosity about the biotech industry. While biotech focused, the book contains advice applicable to any department in any business including management, finance, and legal.
By Barry Werth
This book is another perspective on the successful pharmaceutical company Vertex. Written by a journalist, the well-researched book takes you on Joshua Boger's journey from the science lab to Wall Street to research groundbreaking and life-saving drugs and get them into the hands of consumers. This book creates a thrilling atmosphere as it follows a group of company executives working together to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry.
If you're looking for insight into the biotech industry or simply want to gain a basic understanding of how business interests can combine with research and development, these four books provide a strong foundation of knowledge. Whether you've got biotech dreams or merely want to disrupt an industry, these books are a good start.