Personally, I blame the patients. If they had just had the good sense to have their steroid-refractory severe ulcerative colitis respond to our drug, instead of falling for the old placebo trick, then everything would be fine. Stupid patients.
Perhaps I should explain.
Yesterday at my place of employ, we had a company-wide all-hands meeting, to discuss some planned “changes in direction” for the business. This was not a surprise; we had known about it for a couple of months. Also not completely surprising was the announcement to get rid of a certain segment of the business (not related to anything I’m doing, so I felt bad for the people it affected, but only in an abstract way). Nope, the surprising part was the announcement that last Friday they learned that our lead drug candidate had failed in phase 3 clinical trials, and was being dropped. (For those of you not invovled in the biotech industry, allow me to translate: Oh. Shit.)
The upshot of all of this is that we are becoming a “more focused” company. Specifically, a smaller and more focused company. The good news is that the focus is going to be on the things my group is doing, and roughly half of this projects listed as the ones we are pinning our hopes to I have had some sort of role in working on. (For the bad news, see above). I don’t know if this means I can feel confident about my chances of continued employment, but I do know that the phrase “moving forward” was used a lot.
Meanwhile, my stock options have now spent so much time underwater that I think they are SCUBA certified.
Yesterday afternoon was spent mostly in shock and gossip, with numerous intense hallway conversations in Mandarin littered with words like “severence” and “pipeline”. I found myself with a stress headache and, in a possibly unrelated development, the hiccups. Today was more of the same, only without the hiccupping, and by midmorning several members of my group decided that we needed to bond through the adversity. I went to management for approval:
Me: We’re thinking of going to Chevy’s for a morale-boosting excercise.
My Boss: Sounds like a good idea. Have a margarita for me.
Two pitchers later, morale was showing a distinct improvement.