In short, The Antidote is a great read for those of us in the biopharma industry.
Barry Werth wrote a previous volume, The Billion Dollar Molecule, about the early years of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. This follow-up book outlines the history, the personalities, the processes, and the high-risk-high-reward decisions that went into Vertex advancing its first drug(s) to the marketplace, and morphing itself into a commercial organization.
From the mercurial brilliance of founder Joshua Berger to all the various players who came on board to evolve the company, it’s a fascinating account of how a company struggled to shape and maintain its culture. The blow-by-blow account of deciding on drug candidates, based on the Vertex philosophy of science and medicine (and business), is eye-opening. Some of the language would be a bit technical and arcane for those not involved in the industry, but for pharmaceutical and biotech professionals, this is a great story.
The writing style flows nicely – such a book could become dry; but, in fact, I had a hard time putting this one down each night.