Posted by: Audrey Erbes | August 9, 2015

Is Greed Hollowing Out the Life Science Industry?

Is Greed Hollowing Out the Life Science Industry?

I’m finding it hard to stomach the continuing greed for higher incomes of investors and “taking out” of companies and their staff in the name of “exits” as markers of the supposed advancement of the life science industry.” Mergers and acquisitions mean the destruction of our industry in the future instead of the growing of companies and reward to professionals who made the success possible. We continue to encourage students to engage in science fields but our corporate values are leading us to truncated careers and failed dreams.

There used to be a time when there was an ethical concern that U.S. companies provide well-paying jobs for challenging work to life science professionals–in order to maintain a vibrant workforce to continue delivering advances in our field. The more recent 2008 economic downturn meant less funds for building new companies and a resulting extinguishment of the candle of building flourishing companies that last. Now the focus is on short-term gains with no thought for the professional workers who make the successful products in the immediate time frame. They will be laid off and business workers who have no capability to build a successful new cure or treatment will earn bonuses for cutting short- term costs and finding a buyer for the innovators’ products without concern about their future.

Off shoring of manufacturing is a part of the mantra of pleasing acquirers and investors. I envision the meltdown of the genius and brilliance of American workers in our industry as they turn to work in health care services when they are past 40 years of age. Instead of providing funding for their growing skills to bring more success in the future to the biotech and medical device industry, companies will use up our best and brightest and cast them aside.

I now encourage all students with whom I meet to learn a trade along with their advanced degree so they have a means to pay off their student loans incurred over many years of professional preparation, support their families and pay their mortgages as VCs place the “golden goose” of our industry in jeopardy. Without a change in this short term thinking and squeezing out every penny for investors, I see a “death spiral” in our future as our workforce loses its way.

Upcoming Life Science Events in the Bay Area

  • Bio2DeviceGroup, Tuesday Evening, Aug. 11, 2015; Topic: “Innovation, Invention & Entrepreneurial Thinking;” Speaker: Mir Imran, CEO & Founder of InCUbe; CEO of Rani Therapeutics, InCube Labs
  • WIB-San Francisco Bay Area, Wednesday Evening, Aug. 12, 2015; Event: “Speed Networking Bling Party”
  • HBA, Wednesday Evening, Aug. 12, 2015; Event: HBA Supper Club

You can download details for the above events in a complete list of upcoming events by right clicking on Audreys Picks August 9, 2015.

Note that I am not able to send my blog and lists directly to you as I did for over 10 years. You can access them by reading my weekly blog and downloading my lists at



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