Rob Wright

About Rob Wright

Rob Wright is the editor-in-chief for Life Science Leader Magazine.


  • What Can You Learn From The Educational Planning Process Of BIO?

    In my role as the 2015 co-chair of the BIO International’s educational planning committee, I am privy to what goes into creating one of our industry’s largest annual events. As many of you are involved in organizing your own customer educational programs (e.g., The Emerson Exchange) or have been asked to serve on an event planning committee, I thought a behind the scenes look into how BIO goes about the process would be helpful to your efforts. Here are some of the best business practices I have witnessed thus far.

  • The 7 Habits Of The Highly Effective Pharma And Biopharma Manufacturing Executive

    While all The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People listed by Stephen Covey remain relevant and timeless, the one which resonates with me most is the seventh — sharpen the saw. In the life sciences industry, Covey’s concept of continuous improvement is more than just a habit, but a way of life. This is especially true for those who work in pharma and biopharma manufacturing — striving to maintain high quality, be on time with delivery, increase productivity (often with fewer resources) and so on. If you work in manufacturing, you are probably tempted to stop reading and get back to work. Though pharma and biopharma manufacturing executives most certainly work long and hard hours, I am sure the manufacturing executives I know would rank working smarter above working harder as a best business practice. Working smarter requires making the time to sharpen your saw. As we are just seven weeks away from a very unique saw sharpening continuous improvement conference for the pharma and biopharma manufacturing executive (Outsourced Pharma West), I thought it a good time to put together a list of the seven habits of the highly effective pharma and biomanufacturing executive — so you can sharpen your saw.

  • Don’t Let Big Data Analytics Prevent You From Being Brilliant At The Basics

    Most of those in our industry are only viewing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to looking at how to use Big Data — ignoring the massive amounts residing below the water’s surface. When I think of the potential Big Data presents for the field of life sciences, it reminds me of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner — “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

  • Drug Development – You Get What You Incentivize For

    Allowing the application of a “one-size- fits-all” intellectual property policy that affords the same protection for Frisbees as lifesaving and sustaining medicines would be, quite frankly, moronic and short-sighted. It would also be a disincentive for companies to develop R&D-intensive drugs because the longer it takes to develop, the shorter patent life you have. The converse is also true — less costly drugs brought to market more quickly get longer patents.

  • Astrazeneca’s Biologics Veteran: Applying A Risk-Based Approach To Plan For Capacity

    Imagine you are seated at a table preparing to discuss the manufacturing of biologics. The person across from you possesses nearly 40 years’ worth of wisdom on the topic. You, on the other hand, have zero experience in this field. Kind of like a rookie stepping into the batter’s box against Nolan Ryan and understanding that if a 95 mph baseball is coming at his head he has less than .4 seconds to get out of the way.

  • It’s Not The Tool, It’s The Technique

    My son plays on his college’s golf team. In the fall he was struggling with his putting. What is the obvious solution needed to fix the problem? Why, to buy a new putter of course. It could not possibly be anything to do with the technique. It must be the tool.

  • Merck Serono’s CEO Belén Garijo – Enabling Risk And Refusing To Play It Safe

    Sitting on the secondlevel balcony of the grand ballroom in the historic New York Waldorf-Astoria, my vantage point provides a bird’s-eye view of the floor below. Today, the room serves as a central meeting place for attendees of the sixteenth BIO CEO and Investor Conference. I wonder aloud to my table guest, Belén Garijo, M.D., as to the uniqueness of being interviewed in this venue.

  • How To Improve Clinical Trials – Some Good Old-Fashioned Wisdom

    Intel cofounder Gordon Moore predicted in 1965 that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double approximately every two years. What came to be known as Moore’s Law has basically held true ever since.

  • Reports Of U.S. Biomedical R&D Demise – A Great Exaggeration

    Prior to heading out to the 32nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco last month, I stumbled across several article headlines indicating the United States’ domination of global biomedical R&D was fading. What metric was used to determine this? R&D spend. According to “new” research from the University of Michigan Health System, the U.S. share of the global biomedical R&D business declined from 51 percent to a mere 45 percent from 2007 to 2012. And while Europe remained unchanged at 29 percent, Asia rose from 18 to 24 percent.

  • Mission TransCelerate: Transforming The Drug Development Terrain

    During the ill-fated 1970 Apollo 13 mission to the moon, it was astronaut Jack Swigert who alerted ground control that something had gone terribly wrong when he uttered the phrase, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” Those same words seem very fitting to the current state of affairs around the skyrocketing costs of drug discovery. Recent estimates place the expense of successfully bringing just one drug to market at between $350 million and $1.2 billion. However, in the last decade, companies having brought 4 to 13 drugs to market have watched the price tag reach stratospheric heights — orbiting $5 billion+. “I think the pain point has reached a threshold that’s no longer bearable,” states Dalvir Gill, Ph.D., CEO of TransCelerate BioPharma.

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