The Antidote

The Antidote : Inside the World of New Pharma

3.48 (129 ratings by Goodreads)
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The $325 billion-a-year pharmaceutical business is America's most challenging and one of its most profitable. It is tougher in just about every way than any other enterprise: from the towering biological risks inherent in its mission to treat disease; to the thirty-to-one failure rate in bringing out a successful medicine aftera candidate clears all the hurdles to get to human testing; to the billion-dollar-plus cost of ramping up a successful product; to operating in the world's most highly regulated industry with the possible exception of nuclear power. The Antidotetells the story of Vertex, a maverick drug company led by the charismatic Joshua Boger and a small group of entrepreneurial young scientists who broke off from Merck when it was the world's best drug maker-indeed the most admired business in America-because they thought they could make drugs better. Building upon his widely praised The Billion-Dollar Molecule, Barry Werth captures the full scope of Vertex's twenty-five-year drive to deliver breakthrough medicines and transform the drug industry. The Antidote draws upon unprecedented inside reporting spanning more than two decades to provide a ground-breaking close-up of Vertex's inner workings and the ferocious but indispensable world it inhabits.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 448 pages
  • 170.18 x 238.76 x 45.72mm | 612.35g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 8 pp insert
  • 1451655665
  • 9781451655667
  • 618,364

About Barry Werth

Barry Werth is an award-winning journalist and the acclaimed author of five books. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and GQ, among others. He has taught at Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Boston University. His previous book on Vertex, The Billion-Dollar Molecule, was selected as one of Fortune's "75 Smartest Books We Know."
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Review quote

"Werth doesn't shy away from technical details, and The Antidote has plenty of "inside baseball" for pharma industry cognosenti ... But although these nitty-gritty details are important and interesting, Werth uses them as the backdrop to ask a more broadly relevant and philosophical question: not just how to build a large drug company, but what to grow up to become? .... Sometime, somewhere, a future biopharma CEO will hopefully read The Antidote and be inspired to continue the quest." * * "[Werth's] rendering of bright, quirky individuals and their determination to make Vertex sustainable will satisfy anyone seeking an exciting biotech business story. ... A revealing, readable book." * Kirkus Reviews * "Werth very aptly captured the drama of the pharmaceutical industry ... Werth was able to obtain extraordinary inside information on the workings of the pharmaceutical industry. He was able to capture the emotional and psychological state of the players, the day-to-day workings of the companies with failures and successes of research, as well as collaborations with other companies and acquisitions. ... Succinct and understandable." * New York Journal of Books * "The book is an in-depth look at a company in a daunting, high-stakes, highly regulated business in which science, commerce and politics intersect." * Pittsburgh Tribune * "Werth keeps a brisk pace, describing Vertex as the antidote to older pharma and Merck in particular. He infuses the book with drama, even managing to make a regulatory meeting seem exciting." * The Economist * "Werth's excellent writing takes the reader deep into the heart of Vertex and into the dilemma facing the biotech pioneers, and us all." * Fortune * "You can read The Antidote as a book about predicaments encountered by just about any company whose future depends on constant innovation. Yet, given Mr. Werth's welcome attention to personalities and circumstances-as well as to the recalcitrance of particular molecules and particular suffering bodies-you can also take the book at face value, as a story about what happened in one company in one fairly short period of time. ... The vividness and rich detail of "The Antidote" make it a gripping coming-of-age story for modern corporate and scientific times." * The Wall Street Journal * "Barry Werth's new book does for the world of biotech drug development what The Soul of a New Machine did for the dawn of the computer age. It presents an exciting narrative about the business of bringing new products to market." * Boston Globe * "A riveting mix of molecular science, big personalities-and big money." * Nature *
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Rating details

129 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 15% (19)
4 38% (49)
3 32% (41)
2 12% (15)
1 4% (5)
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