Biotech Flops & Gas Stations

While a response of “chuck it” to a high-profile time-consuming flop is by no means limited to biotech folks, a piece in today’s Seattle P-I is entertaining on the subject:

Bob Schroff joined a Seattle biotech company in 1984 as a young scientist with a dream to revolutionize cancer therapy. But after six years at NeoRx creating antibodies to destroy cancer cells, he decided he was “tired of beating my head against a wall,” Schroff said.
He switched to a more promising cardiovascular project at NeoRx and spent six years on that, only to see the research run out of money.
That was enough. Schroff, who lives in Edmonds, now does some biotech consulting from home, but he also repairs boats.
“It ticks you off,” Schroff said about seeing his research projects die. “You begin to have serious doubts. You say to yourself, ‘Maybe I should chuck this and go buy a gas station.’ “


  1. Nigel deGruyther says:

    I think that Schroff _should not_ go open a gas station. He should go and work at a successful gas station.
    It appears that he is a very slow learner. After 6 years, he switched to a more promising project and then another 6 years later, he is disappointed that the company has run out of money. What investor in their right money is going to throw more money at a company that works for 6 years and fails to come up with a viable product?